Amid cash-in-couch revelations, the South African president survives a party vote.
Despite ongoing concerns about money stashed under his couch, South Africa’s ruling party on Sunday endorsed President Cyril Ramaphosa as its leader in the hopes that his personal popularity will be sufficient to maintain a dwindling voting base enraged by crumbling infrastructure and corruption. The sole remaining confidant of Nelson Mandela who is also a successful corporate entrepreneur, Ramaphosa, has positioned himself as a reformer in a scandal-plagued government. However, the information that he stashed at least $580,000 in cash on his couch at his game farm has hurt him. His staff claimed to the investigators that the money originated from the sale of a buffalo herd that was never collected, but a panel constituted by Parliament questioned this claim. In order to elect a president without forming a coalition, Ramaphosa requires the ANC to win enough parliamentary seats in the national elections in 2024. However, he is up against increasing opposition from rival parties, fierce opposition that is spreading to smaller towns from urban regions, and public resentment that has been lowering voter turnout and the number of registered voters.