Johannesburg, Dec 19 (EFE).- South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, on Monday was re-elected as leader of the African National Congress party despite a slew of corruption allegations that in recent weeks threatened his political future.
The 70-year-old president held on to his position as ANC leader with 2,476 votes in favor compared to the 1,897 secured by his rival, former health minister Zweli Mkhize, in Sunday’s ballot.
Ramaphosa’s successful leadership bid came despite his reputation being tarnished by corruption claims that could cost him his dominance in parliament.
The ANC usually puts its leader forward in presidential elections, so Ramaphosa is likely to run in the next election slated for 2024.
On Friday, the president appealed for unity among party members amid heckling from opponents during his opening speech at the party’s national meeting.
“Our experience of recent years is that disunity does not arise from ideological, political, or strategic differences among us,” Ramaphosa said at the meeting.
“But it arises from a contest over positions in the state and resources that are attached to them. That is what causes disunity among us,” he added.
Ramaphosa referenced the ideals of freedom that triggered the rise of the ANC, founded in 1912, but acknowledged that “equality” among all South Africans was still a long way off amid “high levels of poverty and unemployment.”
The president said serious issues with the electricity supply in the country were risking the economic recovery of the nation.
“Poor policy decisions in the past, together with inadequate maintenance, mismanagement and state capture have left our electricity system in a state of real disrepair,” he said.
The state capture is a major investigation into the endemic corruption that plagued the South African public apparatus during the tenure of former president Jacob Zuma.
On Tuesday, Ramaphosa dodged an impeachment process after a report that accused him of violating corruption laws was rejected by parliament.
The document threatened the political future of Ramaphosa as head of state and president of the ANC by claiming he had covered up the theft of $4.25 million from his Phala Phala farm in the northeast of the country back in 2020.
Ramaphosa succeeded Zuma as president in 2018, pledging to tackle the corruption and economic crisis unleashed during his predecessor’s nine years in office.EFE