Home Criminal Two years after the farm was stolen, the South African president was caught in the “farm gate” crisis.
On December 12, 2021 local time, in Cape Town, South Africa, South African President Ramaphosa participated in the National Memorial of former President De Klerk. Figure/IC photo

Two years after the farm was stolen, the South African president was caught in the “farm gate” crisis.

by YCPress

South African President Ramaphosa, who came to power under the banner of anti-corruption, has recently been deeply involved in the “farm gate” scandal.

According to the BBC, in June this year, Ramaphosa was accused of covering up the theft of huge funds from his private farm, which raised doubts about its source of funding. Ramaphosa himself denied any misconduct, but an independent investigation reported that Ramaphosa may have violated the Constitution and his presidential oath.

The South African National Assembly will review the investigation report and decide whether to impeach Ramaphosa. At the same time, the South African opposition and opponents at Ramaphosa’s ANC (African National Congress) called for Ramaphosa to resign.

Vincent Magwh, a spokesman for Ramaphosa, said on December 3 that the president would not resign because of a “defective report” or flinch. However, external analysts believe that for Ramaphosa, who is about to face the party “big test”, the scandal has put his political prospects uncertain.

A scandal triggered by a theft

The “Farm Gate” scandal in Ramaphosa has been fermenting since June this year.

In June this year, Arthur Fraser, former director of the South African National Security Agency, filed a criminal charge, alleging that Parapara Farm in Ramaphosa had stolen $4 million in cash in February 2020. The funds were allegedly hidden on the sofa on the farm when they were stolen.

According to The Guardian, Ramaphosa was accused of secretly storing unreported foreign cash, evading taxes, failing to report theft to the police, and abusing the president’s power to instruct a senior presidential bodyguard to track down the thief and seal the thief.

Ramaphosa admitted that his farm had been stolen, but he denied that the amount of theft was $4 million, but $580,000. He said that the $580,000 revenue came from the sale of buffalo to a Sudanese businessman.

“Some people are slandering me and my property. I promise you that the money comes from the sale of animals. I never stole money from anywhere.” Ramaphosa said to ANC members in June.

Ramaphosa’s clarification failed to prevent the investigation against him. In September, the South African National Assembly set up an independent investigation team to investigate whether Ramaphosa was unconstitutional or other serious misconduct in this matter. This three-member investigation team is headed by a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of South Africa.

On November 30 local time, the investigation team submitted its report to the National Assembly. According to the BBC, the investigation report shows that Ramaphosa may have violated the Constitution and his presidential oath.

It is reported that Ramaphosa claims that its income of $580,000 came from the sale of buffaloes, but those buffaloes are still on his farm. In addition, South Africa has strict regulations on holding foreign cash for no more than 30 days, and Ramaphosa is suspected of violating South Africa’s foreign exchange regulations. Ramaphosa denied on the same day that it had violated the presidential oath and relevant laws in any form.

After the release of the investigation report, Johns Tienherson, the leader of the South African opposition Democratic Alliance, called for the impeachment of Ramaphosa and the early general election. The coalition of opposition parties, including the Democratic Alliance, issued a statement saying, “We call on all South African people to unite and protect our constitution and the rule of law.” The next general election for South Africa will be held in 2024.

The South African National Assembly will meet on December 6 to discuss the matter and vote on whether the parliament will promote the impeachment of Ramaphosa. If more than two-thirds of the members support the impeachment case, Ramaphosa will be forced to step down.

However, due to the dominance of the ANC led by Ramaphosa in the parliament and the high approval rating of Ramaphosa, external analysis believes that the possibility of his impeachment is very small. The ANC occupies 230 of the 400 seats in the National Assembly, accounting for 57.5%.

In addition to the parliamentary investigation, the South African police are also investigating the matter, and no charges have been brought against Ramaphosa so far.

A political crisis triggered by a scandal

For Ramaphosa, 70 years old, “Farm Gate” may be the biggest crisis he has faced since he came to power.

Ramaphosa was elected president of the ANC in 2017. In February 2018, after former President Zuma announced his resignation on several corruption charges, then-President Ramaphosa succeeded him. In May 2019, Ramaphosa led the ANC to win the parliamentary election, which ushered in his first full five-year term.

During his tenure, Ramaphosa actively promoted the anti-corruption campaign, especially the thorough investigation of corruption during the tenure of former President Zuma. In July 2021, Zuma was sentenced to 15 months in prison for contempt of court in the investigation of corruption cases. This incident once triggered national riots in South Africa, killing more than 300 people.


The Zuma corruption scandal has not completely subsided, and Ramaphosa is also involved in corruption-related scandals. For Rama Forsa, who came to power under the banner of fighting corruption, this will greatly damage his political reputation.

In addition, Ramaphosa is facing an intra-party “big test”. According to AFP, the ANC will hold a presidential election on December 16 local time. Whether Ramaphosa can win re-election is directly related to his ability to win the presidency as the leader of the ANC.

Ramaphosa enjoys a high approval rating within the party, but he faces challenges from Zviri Mukaiz, the former Minister of Health of South Africa. Mukaiz resigned last year on charges of corruption, and he himself denied all the charges.

It is reported that the leadership of the ANC held a brief meeting on December 2nd, saying that the party would carefully examine the allegations against President Ramaphosa. The ANC will also meet consecutive meetings on December 4th and 5th to study this matter.

Margwinya, a spokesman for Ramaphosa, said that President Ramaphosa has received clear information from the ANC branch and they will nominate him for re-election as President of the ANC.

In addition, Magwenya said that the president will challenge the investigation report of the National Assembly. It is in the stability and long-term interests of our constitutional democracy to challenge such an obviously flawed report, especially when it is used as a reference for dismissing an incumbent president.