Conspiracy to Impeachment

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A South African parliamentary inquiry is investigating a bizarre case of theft connected to President Cyril Ramaphosa to determine whether he should be impeached in what is becoming a growing scandal rocking the country, South Africa’s Daily Maverick reported.

Parliament Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said an independent panel will assess the evidence from the Phala Phala case, referring to Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala game farm. The panel will then determine whether to impeach Ramaphosa, as the opposition requested.

The case centers on an accusation made in June by the country’s former State Security Agency chief, Arthur Fraser: He accused the president of kidnapping, bribery, money laundering and “concealing a crime” over the alleged theft of $4 million from the Phala Phala farm in 2020.

At the heart of the case are allegations against the president’s housekeeper who is accused of stealing money she found hidden in furniture at the farm’s main residence. Ramaphosa, returning from abroad, asked his head of security, Maj. Gen. Wally Rhoode to investigate. They recovered the stolen money from the housekeeper and her alleged co-conspirators, Al-Jazeera reported.

However, Fraser claims that the president kidnapped and questioned those involved in the robbery, paid each nearly $10,000 for their silence, and waited one month before reporting the burglary. Ramaphosa has faced calls to explain what happened. So far, he responded to questions made by the country’s ombudsman but the answers have not been made public, according to Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, South Africa’s News24 reported on Wednesday that the burglars took $600,000 in cash, instead of the alleged $4 million, without citing any sources.

Political parties have until Sept. 1 to nominate candidates to serve on the panel. Analysts say the impeachment is unlikely to move forward. However, in South Africa, when a party in parliament calls for impeachment, it triggers a mandatory investigation into whether the president is guilty of a serious violation of the law or serious misconduct.

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