Victory at last for Ramaphosa

South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa has won a second five-year term as leader of the Africa National Congress ANC, the country’s ruling party. 

Isn’t there a corruption case against him?

Yes, but despite the corruption scandal, President Ramaphosa remains popular within the ANC and won 2,476 votes defeating his only challenger, former Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, who received 1897 votes at the ANC national congress held in Soweto over the weekend. The victory solidifies President Ramaphosa’s leadership of the ANC and sets the stage for his bid for re-election as president of South Africa in the 2024 general elections. 

Does the corruption allegation affect his re-election bid? 

Both Ramaphosa and his challenger faced corruption allegations prior to the ANC congress, amplifying the belief by South Africans that the ANC is entrenched in corruption. Last year, Zwelli Mkhize, who also doubles as the party’s Treasurer was asked to proceed on special leave following allegations of diverting funds meant to fight the covid-19 pandemic for his personal gain. 

President Ramaphosa narrowly escaped impeachment last week when 214 lawmakers voted against establishing an impeachment committee against him following recommendations from an investigative panel for his removal over the Farmgate scandal. He has yet to be charged for allegations of tax evasion, misusing public funds, and holding undeclared foreign currency.  

Though the ANC is projected to lose its longstanding majority in the parliament due to the country’s flagging economy, rising unemployment, poverty, and constant power outages, President Ramaphosa’s re-election bid is not threatened as he still enjoys support from not only the party but at the local and provincial levels. Many analysts consider him ANC’s “best asset” for the 2024 polls. 

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