ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe has responded to calls for President Cyril Ramaphosa to step aside after allegations of a cover-up of a robbery at his Limpopo farm.
Former State Security Agency boss Arthur Fraser laid a criminal complaint against Ramaphosa last week, implying the president concealed the crime from authorities. Ramaphosa denied any involvement in criminal activity.
The revelation sparked calls from political parties, including the UDM and EFF, for Ramaphosa to step aside immediately.
Speaking to SABC News, Mabe said the ANC has full confidence in Ramaphosa.
He said the step-aside rule is implemented when members are summoned to appear in a court of law and have been charged with serious crimes.
“You step aside when you are indicted to appear in a court of law and have been charged with serious crimes. As matters stand, President Cyril Ramaphosa has not been charged with any crime,” Mabe explained.
“Simply going to a police station and opening a case does not mean that persons are charged. Investigations must be undertaken and the police must then be convinced that there are prospects of success. So those who are coming out to say the president must step aside … the president of the ANC is not criminally charged,” he added.
Mabe said the ruling party has not discussed the matter of Ramaphosa stepping aside because it is allowing law enforcement agencies to “process the matter”.
Addressing MPs on Wednesday, deputy president David Mabuza urged South Africans to allow law enforcement agencies to investigate the allegations.
“The issues around the farm robbery at the president’s place, I think that has been reported to the police and I take it that we should allow the respective law enforcement agencies to investigate without our interference and make their investigation known,” he said.
“If they want to charge the president, they will do so at the proper time. I think we should allow that process to unfold.”
Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said the president would co-operate with any law enforcement investigation into allegations.
“On being advised of the robbery, President Ramaphosa reported the incident to the head of the Presidential Protection Unit of the SAPS for investigation.
“President Ramaphosa stands ready to co-operate with any law enforcement investigation of these matters,” said Magwenya.