Call for early electionsWhat then is to be made of Mr Ramphosa’s handling of “Farmgate”? His party is feverishly debating how the president should handle the report, party sources have told the BBC. While some want him to adopt a wait-and-see approach, others, presumably from an opposing ANC faction, want him gone to prevent further damage to the party, they say. Officially, the president’s office has said he will address the report once he has finished studying it. Mr Ramaphosa enjoyed some grace when he assumed power not only from the public but business and civil society – even local media in some ways. He made grand promises of a new dawn for South Africa under his leadership and implored citizens to believe that he could turn things around, that the days of corruption scandals would be a thing of the past. But that grace is now lost. The country’s main opposition says that based on this report, the president has been found wanting. The Democratic Alliance announced that it will use parliament’s sitting next week to put forward a motion calling for early elections – saying the damning allegations against Mr Ramaphosa show that the ANC must be removed from power. “The report is clear and unambiguous. President Ramaphosa most likely did breach a number of Constitutional provisions and has a case to answer. Impeachment proceedings into his conduct must go ahead, and he will have to offer far better, more comprehensive explanations than we have been given so far,” the party said in a statement. The report – made up of three volumes – raises questions around Mr Ramaphosa’s written submission:
- Why did the president have some $580,000 stored inside a sofa?
- Why was the theft of that money not reported to the police two years ago?
- Why do the buffalo he says were sold remain on the farm?