South African Parliament to Release Ramaphosa Scandal Report

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(Bloomberg) -- The findings of an advisory panel set up by South Africa’s parliament to probe whether there are grounds for lawmakers to take action against President Cyril Ramaphosa in connection with a scandal over a robbery at his game farm will be published later on Wednesday.

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Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo, who headed the three-member panel, handed the report over to Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, the Speaker of the National Assembly, in Cape Town on Wednesday morning. The report will be published through a parliamentary notification, she said.

South Africa’s legislature usually announces its daily Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports after 5 p.m. The panel’s report is set to be debated by lawmakers on Dec. 6, and they will decide whether or not to adopt it.

Read more: Furor Over a Theft Bedevils Africa’s Oldest Political Movement

The furor erupted in June when Arthur Fraser, the former head of South Africa’s national spy agency, laid charges against Ramaphosa, alleging that he sought to cover up the 2020 theft of more than $4 million from his Phala Phala game farm. Parliament set up a three-member panel to decide if there are grounds for lawmakers to take action against the president and it is due to deliver its findings to the legislature on Wednesday.

The president has admitted that money he made from selling animals was stolen, but far less than Fraser alleged, and has denied doing anything wrong. He’s refused to publicly answer questions about what happened, and opposition parties say they want clarity on whether he violated tax or exchange-control rules.

The Hawks, a special police investigative unit, and the nation’s graft ombudsman, have instituted separate probes of the matter. Under ANC rules, Ramaphosa will have to vacate his post if he is criminally charged.

(Updates with report publication procedure in third paragraph.)

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