In his first remarks following the release of an official investigation on the controversy involving money taken from his farm, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa emphasized that his fate rests with his party.
His detractors have demanded his resignation following the legal experts’ conclusion that he might have broken the law.
The spokesman for Mr. Ramaphosa said on Saturday that he will continue to fight.
The president has now stated that his next step should be decided by the party’s highest hierarchy.
In order to examine the report’s conclusions, the leaders of the ruling Africa National Congress (ANC) are currently gathering in Johannesburg.
The president explained that his fellow National Working Committee members had given him permission not to attend in order for them to “be free to express themselves as openly and thoroughly as possible without any form of fear or favor.” The president was speaking outside the location of the meeting.
The National Executive Committee (NEC), the ANC’s main decision-making body, will also convene on Monday.
The National Executive Committee, to which I am answerable, has the authority to make any decisions, Mr. Ramaphosa told reporters.
When Arthur Fraser, a former South African spy chief, reported the president to the police in June, he accused him of covering up a theft of $4 million (£3.25 million) in cash from his Phala Phala game farm in 2020.
Although Mr. Ramaphosa acknowledged that money had been taken, he claimed that it was just $580,000 and not $4m.
The group, led by a former chief justice, stated that it had “strong skepticism” regarding the president’s claim that the $580,000 came from the sale of buffalo.
The conclusions of the commission have been delivered to parliament, which will review them and decide whether or not to begin the process of impeaching the president.
Vincent Magwenya, the president’s spokesperson, stated on Saturday that Mr. Ramaphosa was “not quitting based on a defective report, nor is he standing away.”
Such a manifestly defective report may be in the long-term interest and longevity of our constitutional democracy, well beyond the Ramaphosa administration, he continued.
Along with competitors inside the ANC, the opposition is pressuring Mr. Ramaphosa to step down.
Since Mr. Ramaphosa took office on a platform promising to root out the corruption that had plagued the nation under his predecessor, Jacob Zuma, the controversy is particularly harmful to him.
The ANC is still sharply split between those who favor Mr. Zuma and those who support Mr. Ramaphosa.
His former health minister Zweli Mkhize, who has also been charged with corruption, will run against Mr. Ramaphosa for the ANC presidency. He disputes the charges.