Johannesburg – South Africa remains on tenterhooks with heightened speculation about whether President Cyril Ramaphosa will resign over the three-member panel report on the 2020 Phala Phala farm robbery, which suggested he “may have” done wrong things.
Ramaphosa denies the accusations of wrongdoing and maintains that he was not in breach of his oath of office.
With detractors – opposition parties and a few African National Congress (ANC) members – screaming for Ramaphosa to “resign immediately”, the Presidency said, late Thursday, that the President was still considering the next step.
Senior members of the ANC Tony Yengeni and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma made public comments calling for Ramaphosa to “hand in his resignation” and to “step aside”.
“I think the president has to step aside now and answer to the case,” Dlamini Zuma, the cooperative governance and traditional affairs minister, said on eNCA.
Media24 reports that ANC national executive committee member Yengeni has called on Ramaphosa “to follow his own advice and step down”.
However, Vincent Mangwenya, spokesperson for the President, said late Thursday that Ramaphosa was studying the report and an announcement was imminent.
“The president appreciates the urgency of this issue. The president appreciates the enormity of this issue. What it means for the country, the stability of government,” Magwenya stated.
“As a result of that, he is still processing the report.”
Magwenya said Ramaphosa was engaging various role players and stakeholders at different levels in the governing party and Tripartite Alliance – which includes the SA Communist Party and the Congress of SA Trade Unions.
Earlier on Thursday, Minister in the Presidency, Mondli Gungubele, explained that a prima facie case was not a conclusion of guilt or wrongdoing.
Speaking to reporters, Gungubele said Ramaphosa has always respected the laws of the country and he maintains he did nothing untoward.
“And you know the meaning of prima facie. It says at face value, I’m using my own simple language, it appears that this has not gone right,” Gungubele said.
“Maybe an elaborate exercise to check further could lead to something. So, prima facie is not a conclusive finding on anything but is an indication that there’s a need to clarify certain things. “
Ramaphosa’s ANC party has announced a meeting for Friday to discuss the three-member panel report and to chart a way forward.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliances, which has made it clear it does not wish for Ramaphosa to resign and be replaced by other ANC leaders it considers dodgy, has instead filed a motion requesting early elections.