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Ramaphosa Investigation Results in December

FILE: South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa lat the Union Building in Pretoria, South Africa. Taken May 24, 2022.

South Africa's parliament said Thursday it would discuss next month the findings of a special panel tasked with establishing whether President Cyril Ramaphosa should face impeachment for allegedly covering up a crime.

"The deadline for the panel to submit its report has been postponed to November 30th so it has been decided that the National Assembly will consider the report on December 6," parliamentary spokesman Moloto Mothapo spokesman told AFP.

Parliament was due to start its year-end recess on December 1, but this will now be delayed in order to address the matter.

The controversy risks derailing Ramaphosa's bid for a second term as ANC president, a post that as head of the ruling party also enshrines him as president of the nation.

The hotly-contested polls will take place at a conference running from December 16 to 20. The election typically takes place on the opening day.

The scandal erupted in June after South Africa's former national spy boss filed a complaint with the police, alleging that in 2020 Ramaphosa had concealed a multi-million-dollar cash theft at his farm in the northeast of the country.

Presidential spokesman Vincent Magwenya told journalists that Ramaphosa "will gladly step aside" if he were to be criminally charged.

Impeaching a president -- removing him or her from office -- requires a two-thirds majority vote in the National Assembly, where the ANC commands more than two-thirds of the seats.

The investigation panel which was appointed by the National Assembly speaker last month, comprises an ex-chief justice, a former prominent high court judge and a lawyer.