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By Neelam Rahim

The Phala Phala scandal, or “farmgate” or “dollar gate” as President Cyril Ramaphosa’s million-dollar theft at his farm was dubbed, will not fatally wound the president. Still, it has undoubtedly hastened the demise of the ANC. This is the view of the editor-in-chief of News24, Adriaan Basson. In his latest opinion piece, he feels comfortable in his prediction that Ramaphosa will survive the December ANC conference but that the ANC will lose their majority when the country goes to the polls in 2024. 

Speaking to Radio Islam, Adriaan Basson says, defining survival in this context and at this point was referred to politically.

“Politically, I think Ramaphosa will survive in the ANC. His opposition within the party, the so-called ‘Radical Economic Transformation’ section I think is very weak. And at this stage, the only person who is likely to oppose him is Zweli MKhize who is the former health minister who also has very serious allegations of corruption against himself in the digital vibes matter. Ramaphosa has managed over the past five years since he became ANC president in 2017 to consolidate a large section of the ANC around him, and I don’t think they will remove him based on this scandal. I do however feel that the ANC has been weakened by this as a lot of the country had their hopes on Ramaphosa cleansing the ANC and state. And now he stands in the long line of ANC politicians embroiled in scandal.”

Adriaan says, “From what I understand the docket has been moved to Limpopo because that’s when the theft happened. The case will be investigated by detectives and probably also assisted by the Hawks in that province. The docket that Arthur Fraser has opened implicates General Wally Rhoode, Head of the Presidential Protection Unit, and is a senior policeman. So the police will have to be very careful in maintaining independence and objectivity in this investigation.”

“I think the ANC has been in trouble for a while, since 2016. We saw the ANC losing a significant amount of support in places like Johannesburg. In November last year, at the municipal election, the ANC also lost control of Tshwane and Ekhureleni. I think that pattern will continue. The ANC only received 46% National votes last year, and scandals like this will only deplete the ANC’s support,” says Adriaan.


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