Ramaphosa takes oath under cloud of Farmgate

Cyril Ramaphosa is sworn in by Chief Justice Raymond Zondo at the Union Building as the new president of South Africa. Ramaphosa will be leading serving his second term as the leader of this nation. Picture: Phando Jikelo Parliament of SA

Cyril Ramaphosa is sworn in by Chief Justice Raymond Zondo at the Union Building as the new president of South Africa. Ramaphosa will be leading serving his second term as the leader of this nation. Picture: Phando Jikelo Parliament of SA

Published Jun 19, 2024



With the Phala Phala farm scandal cloud over his head, President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday took his second oath of office and promised to serve and protect the Constitution he violated during his first term of office.

Ramaphosa pledged before the world during his swearing in by Chief Justice Raymond Zondo: “On this day we assert by solemn oath the will of the people of this land. On this day, we affirm our unwavering fidelity to the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, which is based on the enduring vision and values of the Freedom Charter.

“As the leadership of this diverse nation, we have a sacred duty to unite the people of South Africa ... We affirm our determination to build a more caring and equal society.”

Reacting to Ramaphosa’s swearing-in and his promise to serve and protect the country’s Constitution, Professor Mthunzi Mdwaba said Ramaphosa had previously failed to serve in the best interests of the country’s Constitution.

“What comes to mind (when hearing him swear his allegiance to the Constitution) is how calculated he has been to orchestrate the selling off of the ANC, having had it planned for so long and how he was the person who negotiated on behalf of the ANC at Codesa and got us a raw deal,” Mdwaba said.

“Now he has a deal negotiated by him, Mbalula and others that gives the DA a say on who can and cannot become a member of the so-called Government of National Unity.

“There’s no speculation anymore on who is behind him with a remote control. We now know who it is, namely, big business locally and globally the West, who have always manipulated the rand and the ratings status - it intrigues me that we have never called this corruption that is even worse than the corruption by the erstwhile ANC-led government,” he said.

When it came to the Phala Phala farm scandal, Mdwaba said: “Lastly, I think of hypocrisy. I find it highly corrupt that (DA federal leader Helen) Zille would say that whilst they fought and pursued the Phala Phala scandal prior to the partnership, they now could not pursue it anymore.

“It is even more duplicitous that they would pursue (Paul) Mashatile and extort the ANC while not doing the the same against Ramaphosa. It is clear that this was never a deal for the ANC and South Africa, but for Ramaphosa and his fellow beneficiaries.”

In July last year, Ramaphosa denied accusations that he had violated his oath of office with the Phala Phala scandal just after he was cleared by the then acting public protector, Kholeka Gcaleka, of any wrongdoing.

Independent Media has previously reported that although the South African Reserve Bank, Sars, and the public protector cleared him of wrongdoing, a Section 89 panel found that he may have violated his oath of office. The panel was established by then national Assembly speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. It focused on the undeclared foreign currency concealed in couches on his Phala Phala farm.

Despite this, Ramaphosa’s swearing-in at the Union Buildings was bolstered by the DA’s support, after Zille indicated that part of the GNU deal was not to pursue the matter further unless there was compelling evidence.

Zille told 702 on Monday: “We will only support the impeachment of Ramaphosa if the evidence suggests that there should be an impeachment. But I don’t think we are now in the position, given the fact that we have signed a statement of intent, to start impeaching a president we just voted for. That is the agreement we made.”

Political analyst Sipho Seepe, reacting to Ramaphosa’s commitment to uphold the Constitution, said Ramaphosa’s legacy was laced with all manner of untruths.

“First, the promises he made are not new. If anything, those promises are an indication of the failure of his administration,” said Seepe.

“The second is his attempt to present the Government of National Unity as if it is a matter of generosity of spirit on his or the ANC’s part. The Government of National Unity is an outcome of the election after his administration was found wanting by the voters.

“Ramaphosa projects himself as an anti-corruption crusader. Nothing could be more dishonest than this if one considers how his party went out its way to protect him being held to account on the Phala Phala scandal. It would seem that being dishonest comes naturally to him,” he said.

EFF MP Carl Niehaus said: “It is very cynical and deeply sickening that Ramaphosa took the oath of office and promised to uphold the Constitution and the rule of law when he subverted it so fundamentally during his first term of office.”

The Star