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Ramaphosa Claims Clean Hands

FILE: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa responds to questions in parliament surrounding cash allegedly kept on his private farm, in Cape Town, South Africa, September 29, 2022. Ramaphosa denied corruption again before parliament on November 7, 2022.

South Africa's president has denied wrongdoing in testimony to a parliamentary panel examining whether he should face impeachment over an alleged cover-up of a heist at his farmhouse, his office said on Monday.

President Cyril Ramaphosa "categorically denies that he violated this oath in any way, and denies that he is guilty of any of the allegations made against him," the presidency said in a statement.

The scandal erupted in June after South Africa's former national spy boss filed a complaint with the police alleging that robbers broke into the president's farm in the northeast of the country, where they stole $4 million in cash stashed in furniture.

The complaint alleged that Ramaphosa hid the robbery from the authorities and instead organized for the robbers to be kidnapped and bribed into silence.

Ramaphosa's office said he has always made it a point "to abide by his oath of office and set an example in his respect for the constitution."

While opponents continue to push the game farm robbery probe, impeaching a president requires a two-thirds majority vote in South Africa's National Assembly, where Ramaphosa's ANC commands more than two-thirds of the seats.

The panel is set to report its findings mid-November.