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S. Africa Gives Ramaphosa More Time to Review Business Stakes

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Aug. 15 (Bloomberg) -- South Africa gave Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa four more months to decide whether he needs to sell or place under administration his remaining stakes in businesses to avoid violating conflict-of-interest rules.

Ramaphosa can “dispose of any financial or business interests that may give rise to a conflict of interest when performing his functions,” South African President Jacob Zuma said in an e-mailed statement. Alternatively, the deputy president can “place administration of such interests under the control of an independent and professional person or agency.”

Ramaphosa built his wealth after leaving politics in 1996 by buying stakes in companies such as Lonmin Plc and Standard Bank Group Ltd., Africa’s largest lender. He founded South Africa’s largest labor union in the 1980s and was the head of talks for the ruling African National Congress to end apartheid.

In order to comply with ethics rules after becoming deputy president in May, he agreed to swap holdings in regulated companies like Standard and MTN Group Ltd. for stakes in consumer-goods companies like the local McDonald’s Inc. franchise.

The former labor leader has come under criticism this week for his role as a non-executive director at Lonmin two years ago, when police officers killed 34 striking workers.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andres R. Martinez in Accra at amartinez28@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net Jana Randow, Jack Fairweather

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