AP

South African president hit by tough questions in parliament

Aug 30, 2022, 11:57 AM | Updated: 12:42 pm

A member of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) is ejected from Parliament in Cape Town, South Afri...

A member of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) is ejected from Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022. South African president Cyril Ramaphosa faced a grilling by lawmakers in Parliament on Tuesday as they demanded answers from him on his handling of the theft of millions of dollars from his farm. (AP Photo/Nardus Engelbrecht)

(AP Photo/Nardus Engelbrecht)

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South African President Cyril Ramaphosa faced a grilling by lawmakers in Parliament on Tuesday as they demanded answers on his handling of the theft of millions of dollars from his farm.

Ramaphosa faced loud heckling from opposition members who called for him to answer questions about the theft at his Phala Phala farm in Limpopo province. The parliamentary session was adjourned before he answered all questions on the matter.

The president is being investigated over allegations that he was holding foreign currency at his farm that had not been properly declared to financial officials. This has raised suspicion that Ramaphosa did not report the theft because the cash was being held illegally.

When questioned in Parliament about the allegations, Ramaphosa said he had been advised that he should not make any public statements about the matter until investigations have been concluded.

“I have responded, and will continue to respond, to all the questions that have been put to me by the relevant authorities with regards to the theft at my farm,” said Ramaphosa.

“It is important for me that due process is followed, including the process that is going to unfold in Parliament,” he said.

However, some opposition lawmakers insisted that Ramaphosa was obliged to answer questions on the matter as he has not been formally charged and the issue is not before a court of law.

At least three members of the leftist opposition party, Economic Freedom Fighters, were physically ejected from the chambers for shouting and disrupting order.

Parliament has agreed to form an independent panel of experts to look into the allegations against Ramaphosa regarding the money at his Phala Phala farm. The report will be referred to parliament’s intelligence committee.

The allegations against Ramaphosa come as he will be seeking re-election as leader of the ruling African National Congress party in December. He must be the party’s leader in order to stand as its presidential candidate to be reelected as South African president in the 2024 general elections.

The allegations are a blow to Ramaphosa’s carefully crafted image as a corruption-buster. He campaigned on promises to clean up South Africa’s rampant corruption in 2019 when he was elected president.

Not only is Ramaphosa confronted by heated criticism from opposition parties, he also has detractors within his African National Congress party. A large number of ANC officials and even Cabinet members are loyal to his predecessor, former President Jacob Zuma, despite the corruption charges against the ex-leader. They have called for Ramaphosa to step down until he is cleared of any wrongdoing in what is called the Phala Phala scandal.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

American Airlines put an unspecified number of employees on leave for their involvement in an incid...

Associated Press

American Airlines CEO calls removal of Black passengers from Phoenix flight ‘unacceptable’

American Airlines put an unspecified number of employees on leave for their involvement in an incident in which several Black passengers were removed from a flight in Phoenix.

2 days ago

FILE - Crystal Baziel holds the Pan-African flag Monday, June 19, 2023, during Reedy Chapel A.M.E C...

Associated Press

The beginner’s guide to celebrating Juneteenth

For more than one-and-a-half centuries, the Juneteenth holiday has been sacred to many Black communities. It marks the day in 1865 enslaved people in Galveston, Texas found out they had been freed — after the end of the Civil War, and two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Since it was designated a federal […]

4 days ago

A Boeing 737 Max suffered damage to parts of the plane's structure after it went into a “Dutch ro...

Associated Press

Plane that did ‘Dutch roll’ on flight from Phoenix suffered structural damage, investigators say

A Boeing 737 Max suffered damage to parts of the plane's structure after it went into a “Dutch roll” during a flight from Phoenix last month.

8 days ago

This photo provided by Randy Shannon shows Mooney Falls on the Havasupai reservation outside the vi...

Associated Press

Dozens report illness after trips to waterfalls near Grand Canyon

Dozens of hikers say they fell ill during trips to a popular Arizona tourist destination that features towering blue-green waterfalls deep in a gorge neighboring Grand Canyon National Park.

9 days ago

Mugshot of Rudy Giuliani, who was processed Monday, June 10, 2024, in the Arizona fake electors cas...

Associated Press

Rudy Giuliani posts $10K cash bond after being processed in Arizona fake electors case

Rudy Giuliani, a former New York City mayor and Donald Trump attorney, was processed Monday in the Arizona fake electors case.

12 days ago

FILE - White House former chief of staff Mark Meadows speaks with reporters at the White House, Wed...

Associated Press

Former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows pleads not guilty in Arizona fake elector case

Former Donald Trump presidential chief of staff Mark Meadows and Trump 2020 Election Day operations director Michael Roman pleaded not guilty Friday in Phoenix to nine felony charges for their roles in an effort to overturn Trump's Arizona election loss to Joe Biden.

15 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

South African president hit by tough questions in parliament