Phala Phala: As pressure mounts, Ramaphosa tells allies he is not opposed to resigning

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  • President Cyril Ramaphosa won't shy away from resigning in light of damning findings related to a theft at his Phala Phala farm.
  • In the immediate aftermath of the findings in a Section 89 panel report, top party leaders have been grappling frantically with what it means for Ramaphosa.
  • Opposition parties have all called on Ramaphosa to vacate his office immediately.

President Cyril Ramaphosa's closest allies are meeting at his Cape Town office, Tuynhuys, after he told his allies he was not opposed to resigning. 

In the immediate aftermath of a Section 89 panel report, top party leaders have been frantically grappling with what it means for Ramaphosa.

"He said he is ready to leave," a Cabinet minister said on Thursday morning.

The panel found that Ramaphosa may have violated the Constitution and anti-corruption laws in his Phala Phala dealings.

Ramaphosa is said to have told those closest to him that the report by the panel, led by former chief justice Sandile Ngcobo, was flawed in law, but he is not expected to put up a fight at a looming ANC national executive committee (NEC) meeting on Thursday evening.

Ramaphosa was locked in talks with his advisors and allies at his office in Cape Town on Thursday.

Two top ANC leaders told News24 that Ramaphosa would decide on a course of action before the NEC meeting.

READ | Ramaphosa in crisis: ANC leaders to meet on president's future as enemies, opposition demand resignation

"He will not wait for the NEC to determine his fate," the source said.

Ramaphosa is under immense pressure following the release of the report by the independent panel, which made damning findings against him in relation to the theft of $580 000 (R10 million) from his game farm, Phala Phala, in Limpopo.

While he was locked in the meetings, Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele briefed the media in Parliament.

Gungubele said Ramaphosa was doing well.

"The president appreciates the situation. But he needs to be informed by many things. You are dealing with a president here who is dealing with matters that happened at his house. It is a unique development. The president has subjected himself to the processes. He is dealing with corruption and he has been leading in that sense.

"It's not easy to just take a decision. It's also just not about you. Let's wait for the president's informed decision. He has a history of doing and he is quite an intelligent president," Gungubele said.

READ | FIRST TAKE: Phala Phala findings - Ramaphosa's opponents get what they wanted

According to him, Ramaphosa is expected to make an announcement in due course.

The independent panel, led by Ngcobo and appointed by Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, made damning findings against Ramaphosa in relation to the theft at the farm.

He failed to convince the panel that he had acted in accordance with the law and the Constitution after the burglary and theft, and could face an impeachment investigation by lawmakers.

The four charges include three instances in which Ramaphosa violated the Constitution for continuing to be engaged in paid work outside his duties as a member of Cabinet and for acting inconsistently with his office by asking his head of security, Major General Wally Rhoode, to investigate the matter.

MPs are expected to vote on Tuesday on whether or not to adopt the report.



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