Parliament chaos evokes Zuma era as Ramaphosa allegations swirl

The ‘farmgate’ complaint is the first criminal allegation the president has faced since he came to power.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s attempts to address parliament descended into chaos this week as opposition party members hurled insults at him and tried to stop him speaking — scenes reminiscent of the treatment faced by his scandal-dogged predecessor, Jacob Zuma.

Lawmakers from the radical Economic Freedom Fighters held up proceedings for more than an hour on Thursday and over three hours on Friday, before being bundled out of the chamber by burly security guards or removed from an online platform. Their protest followed revelations that former spy chief Arthur Fraser laid charges against Ramaphosa for concealing the theft of more than $4 million from his game farm in February 2020.

“Ramaphosa and his handlers involved in the game-farming industry are illegally transacting in foreign currency and in cash,” EFF leader Julius Malema told reporters. “Ramaphosa must step aside.”

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