The “Farmgate” controversy may lead to Cyril Ramaphosa, the president of South Africa, being threatened with impeachment.
The president is charged with kidnapping the thieves and buying their silence in order to cover up a $4 million (£3.3 million) robbery from his property in 2020.
According to a leaked study from an independent panel, Mr. Ramaphosa may have violated an anti-corruption statute and abused his position.
He claims the money came from selling buffalo and has denied any wrongdoing.
Parliament has received the panel’s recommendations, which it will review and determine whether or not to use next week to begin the impeachment process.
A convention that will decide whether Mr. Ramaphosa can run for a second term with his party, the African National Congress (ANC), in 2024 is less than a month away. Considering that Mr. Ramaphosa ran for office on an anti-corruption platform, the event might be especially harmful.
On Thursday, the ANC will meet with its executive, and it is anticipated that the topic would be handled then.
A former South African intelligence chief named Arthur Fraser submitted a police report in June accusing the president of covering up a $4 million theft from his Phala Phala farm in the northeast of the nation in 2020, which is when the Farmgate issue first surfaced.
The money may have been the result of money laundering and corruption, according to Mr. Fraser, a close ally of former President Jacob Zuma. He also charged the president with kidnapping and bribing the burglars.
Holding too much money in dollars could be against the rules governing foreign exchange.
While acknowledging a robbery, Mr. Ramaphosa claimed the amount taken was less than claimed and refuted claims that he tried to cover it up.
In the farmhouse, he claimed that $580,000 in cash that had been used to purchase buffalo had been taken from under the sofa cushions.
“I did not ‘hunt’ for the perpetrators of the theft, as alleged, nor did I give any instructions for this to take place,” he wrote in a submission to the panel’s report, according to AFP news agency.
The panel determined that there were numerous unresolved issues and described the situation as “a very serious subject.”
It said that the man had still not recovered the buffalo two and a half years later and that not much information had been retained about him.
The panel also found it odd that the funds were stored out of sight in a sofa rather than a safe until they could be deposited into a bank account.
“We think that the president has a case to answer on the origin of the foreign currency that was stolen, as well as the underlying transaction for it,” the report said. It added: “The president abused his position as head of state to have the matter investigated and seeking the assistance of the Namibian president to apprehend a suspect.”
Hage Geingob, the president of Namibia, has in the past denied any involvement in the incident.