Johannesburg: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa faces an imminent threat of impeachment after he was accused of covering up a $4 million theft from his farm in 2020, including kidnapping and bribing the burglars, the media reported.
But he has denied the accusation, reports the BBC.
The scandal erupted in June, when a former South African intelligence chief, Arthur Fraser, filed a complaint accusing Ramaphosa of hiding the theft from his Phala Phala farm in the north-east of the country in 2020.
In his complaint, Fraser alleged that the money could have been the proceeds of money-laundering and corruption, and accused Ramaphosa of kidnapping and bribing the burglars.
But in his defence, Ramaphosa did acknowledge that the theft had taken place but said the stolen amount was less than that alleged, and denied attempting to cover it up.
He said that some $580,000 which had been paid in cash for buffalo was stolen from under sofa cushions in the farmhouse.
Meanwhile, an independent panel has found that Ramaphosa abused his position and may have broken an anti-corruption law, while terming the development a “very serious matter”.
The panel’s findings have been handed to Parliament, which is set to examine and decide whether or not to launch impeachment proceedings against the President next week.
The development comes ahead of a conference which will decide if Ramaphosa can run for a second term with his party, the African National Congress (ANC), in 2024.