South African governing party lawmakers agreed they will reject an advisory panel’s report that found President Cyril Ramaphosa may have a case of impeachment to answer, Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele said.
The African National Congress’s caucus, comprising the party’s 230 legislators, met in Cape Town on Tuesday hours before a key vote in parliament on whether or not to accept the panel’s report.
An adoption of the findings would trigger a probe into whether or not Ramaphosa committed an impeachable offence.
“The ANC caucus will support the decision of the National Executive Committee and reject the report,” Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele said in an interview after the caucus meeting ended.
“Our lawmakers will reject the adoption of the report.”
The NEC, which groups the ANC’s top leadership, agreed last week to instruct lawmakers to reject the panel’s findings. A vote is scheduled to begin at 2 pm in parliament.
Ramaphosa has been fighting for his political life since November 30, when the panel headed by Sandile Ngcobo, a former chief justice, issued its assessment of the president’s handling of the theft of at least $580,000 at his game farm in 2020.
It disputed Ramaphosa’s assertions that the cash came from the sale of 20 buffalo to a Sudanese national, that his farm manager had stashed it in a couch, and that he’d done nothing wrong.
“Our position is rational,” Gungubele said. “The big problem is that the report lowers the bar for impeachment. So, if it is adopted, then there will be an impeachment every week.”