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Ramaphosa’s Ascension to Power Cleared

South Africa’s High Court has cleared President Cyril Ramaphosa of lying to parliament about the source of donations to his 2017 campaign to lead the ruling party, setting aside a potentially damaging report by a powerful anti-graft watchdog. The high court judges described the watchdog’s approach as based on a mistaken and “fatally flawed” reading of the law. The case was seen by many analysts as a proxy of the bitter power rivalry inside the ANC between supporters of Ramaphosa and his scandal-plagued predecessor Jacob Zuma. Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane had alleged in July that Ramaphosa deliberately misled parliament about the $32,500 donation for his campaign to succeed Jacob Zuma as head of the ruling frican National Congress (ANC). In her report she said there was also prima facie evidence of money laundering involving millions of rand in the handling of the donations, sparking an angry response from Ramaphosa, who swiftly challenged the legality and motivation of the report.