South Africa

Ramaphosa will fight to stay in power – Standard Bank

Standard Bank Group Ltd.’s senior political economist sees a 60% probability that South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will fight to stay in power rather than quit over an independent panel’s findings that there may be grounds for his impeachment.

The advisory panel, led by a former chief justice, found the president may have violated the constitution by improperly reporting a theft on his game farm.

If he does stay on, he will need to take the findings under legal review, Simon Freemantle, the senior political economist at Africa’s biggest lender, said in a note to clients on Friday.

“We would then expect that the president would then still contest — and likely win — the ANC presidential race later this month,” Freemantle said.

“This would provide some calm to the markets and to investor sentiment more broadly. The president would also be able to maintain his defence of critical governance reforms.”

The governing African National Congress is scheduled to hold a conference in two weeks to elect its leaders.

South Africa’s rand and bonds plunged after the announcement of the panel’s findings but have since clawed back some of their losses.

A 30% chance was assigned to the possibility of the president resigning and 10% to him relinquishing his position as leader of the ANC, but remaining head of state until he steps down sometime next year.