JOHANNESBURG ( Associated Press) – South African President Cyril Ramaphosa heckled and even joked with reporters during a brief appearance Sunday at a national working committee meeting of the ruling African National Congress party, which Was discussing his political future.
Ramaphosa’s future hangs in the balance as he faces calls from within the ANC and opposition parties to step down amid a scandal involving the president’s cattle farm.
Ramaphosa was sidelined from Sunday’s meeting of the ANC, which came days after an independent parliamentary panel released a report saying he may have broken anti-corruption laws.
The report follows a criminal complaint filed by the country’s former intelligence chief, Arthur Fraser, who has accused Ramaphosa of money laundering related to the theft of a large amount of cash from his farm in 2020.
The President has denied any wrongdoing in the matter. Briefly addressing reporters on Sunday, he said it was ANC tradition to recuse himself from meetings dealing with matters affecting him personally.
However, Ramaphosa confirmed he planned to attend Monday’s meeting of the party’s national executive committee, its highest decision-making body within the conferences. The executive committee is in charge of making the final decision on Ramaphosa’s future in the party.
“Tomorrow I will also attend the National Executive Committee meeting, that is how everything will flow. Then it is up to the National Executive Committee to make a decision, to which I am answerable,” Ramaphosa said.
Ramaphosa’s spokesman, Vincent Magwenya, did not respond to questions on Sunday about reports that Ramaphosa had no intention of resigning from his position and planned to challenge the report’s findings.
South Africa’s lawmakers are expected to debate the independent report on Tuesday and then vote on it, including further action including impeachment of the president.