Ramaphosa ‘to step aside’ if charged over scandal

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South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa will “step aside” if charged over an alleged cover-up of a robbery at his private farm, according to his spokesman.

“Should the president be charged he would gladly step aside – should it be the case,” presidential spokesman Vincent Magwenya told journalists.

He added: “But as things stand there are no criminal charges against the president. What you have is a series of investigations that he’s fully co-operating with and he will continue to do so.”

Dubbed “farmgate”, the controversy surrounds the robbery at Phala Phala farm back in February 2020 and the alleged aftermath.

The theft was allegedly committed by Namibian nationals who conspired with a domestic worker at the farm.

The president is accused of kidnapping, bribery and acting unlawfully by allegedly authorising the pursuit of the suspects who stole an estimated $4m (£3.2m) from his farm. He denies any wrongdoing.

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