Skip to content

Furor Over a Theft Bedevils Africa’s Oldest Political Movement

South Africa’s ANC in danger of losing parliamentary majority

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa,

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa,

Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

The party that has governed South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994 is being buffeted by a scandal implicating its leader, President Cyril Ramaphosa, setting back its efforts to reclaim support lost during nine years of misrule by his predecessor Jacob Zuma.

The opposition wants Ramaphosa to explain the theft of foreign currency from his game farm two years ago, a crime that only came to light this month and is now being investigated by a special police investigative unit. The furor, which the president has done little to dampen, is the latest blow for the African National Congress, which saw its share of the vote dip below 50% in last year’s municipal elections and fears losing its parliamentary majority in 2024.