South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was re-elected as the leader of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party on Monday. The veteran politician, who has been facing a number of corruption scandals recently, defeated his rival – former Health Minister Zweli Mkhize – by 2476 votes to 1897.
Ramaphosa was the odds-on favourite to win the party elections with the ANC putting their complete support behind him when it comes to the corruption scandals. However, a lot of experts were surprised by the number of votes that Mkhize got as he was also hit by a major scandal regarding the Covid funds.
While both factions inside the ANC made it clear that there were no instances of vote-buying, it was alleged that Mkhize promised high positions to key members in order to boost his cause.
The ANC, a party that counted Nelson Mandela as its member, has been in power in South Africa since 1994 and they will be looking to win a sixth term in the 2024 general elections. While corruption has become a major issue for the country, scandals have not impacted the influence of the party.
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Ramaphosa ran on an anti-corruption platform against his predecessor Jacob Zuma but the recent scandals have marred his name. While the parliamentary vote asking for his impeachment was completely quashed by the legislators, the public perception has certainly soured over time.
Ramaphosa was accused of tax evasion and money laundering with the central authorities also accusing him of stashing over $580,000 in a sofa at his private farm, according to Reuters.