A special panel tasked with establishing whether South African President Cyril Ramaphosa should face impeachment for allegedly covering up a crime submitted its findings to parliament on Wednesday.
The three-person team, led by an ex-chief justice, handed its report to National Assembly speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula at a televised ceremony in Cape Town.
“The handover of the report… marks one of the indicative milestones in South Africa’s maturing constitutional democracy,” Mapisa-Nqakula said upon receiving the two-volume report.
The panel was set up in September to probe the 2020 alleged cover-up of a theft at Ramaphosa’s farmhouse — a scandal that has tarnished the president’s reputation and overshadowed his bid for re-election at the helm of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party.
It was tasked with ascertaining whether there was sufficient evidence to show that the president committed a serious violation of the constitution or the law or a serious misconduct, Mapisa-Nqakula said.
Ramaphosa has denied any wrongdoing.
The speaker said the report will be sent within 24 hours to lawmakers, who will then examine the findings in a one-day sitting on December 6.
The outcome could lead to a potential vote to remove the president, which to be successful would require a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly, where the ANC holds most seats.
Earlier this month, presidential spokesman Vincent Magwenya told journalists that Ramaphosa would “gladly step aside” if he were to be criminally charged.
The report’s filing comes only two weeks before the ANC, which has been in power since the end of apartheid, convenes to elect a new leader.
Ramaphosa came to power in 2018 on a promise of tackling graft. He succeeded Jacob Zuma, who was forced to resign by the ANC on the back of a string of corruption scandals.