Ramaphosa to run for a new term to lead South Africa’s ruling party

President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa – Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/dpa

The President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, has announced that he will run for a new term at the head of his party, the African National Congress (ANC), in two weeks’ time, after receiving an «unequivocal message» of support at the end of the meeting held yesterday by his party regarding the latest economic scandals that have tarnished the President’s image.

«The president understands the message that he must continue with the state and economic reforms, which are already beginning to bear fruit,» confirmed his spokesman, Vincent Magwenya, in a text message reported by Bloomberg.

«In this regard,» the spokesman continues, «the president, with great care and humility, has accepted this call to continue to lead his organization and the people of South Africa,» ahead of the internal elections to be held on December 16.

This announcement comes after the shock caused by the president’s absence at the emergency session held yesterday by his party to deal with the case of theft on a farm owned by the current president, which has caused unrest among its members.

According to party treasurer Paul Mashatile, President Ramaphosa was unable to attend the meeting as he is still undergoing consultations on his status in the wake of revelations that he may have covered up a theft at a farm he owns.

His decision not to attend the meeting caused unease among his members, who have had to travel to Johannesburg at very short notice. In fact, the ANC’s provincial secretary in KwaZulu-Natal province, Bheki Mtolo, said it was «a waste of time».

In a report handed to Parliament Speaker Nosiviwe Maphisa-Nqakula on Wednesday by retired judge Sandile Ngcobo, a panel found that Ramaphosa had committed four serious breaches of the anti-corruption law and that there is ‘prima facie’ evidence against him, local media reported.

Ramaphosa, who had focused his discourse on the fight against corruption after becoming president, saw his aspiration to be the ANC candidate for the 2024 elections endorsed in early May, after one of his allies revalidated his position as leader of the party in the Eastern Cape province.