South Africa's Cyril Ramaphosa will not resign over 'Farmgate' scandal

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will not resign and will seek a second term as leader of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), his office has said.

The head of state, who was recently in the UK on a state visit, has come under pressure to quit over accusations he stashed millions of dollars in sofas at his private game farm and then covered up its theft.

An independent parliamentary inquiry found Mr Ramaphosa may have breached anti-corruption laws.

But Mr Ramaphosa's spokesman insisted he would not step down, claiming support from allies.

Vincent Magwenya said: "President Ramaphosa is not resigning based on a flawed report, neither is he stepping aside.

"The president has taken to heart the unequivocal message coming from the branches of the governing party who have nominated him to avail himself for a second term of the leadership of the ANC."

He added: "It may be in the long-term interest and sustainability of our constitutional democracy, well beyond the Ramaphosa presidency, that such a clearly flawed report is challenged."

The ANC's national executive committee, which has the power to force the president to resign, is due to meet on Monday to decide the 70-year-old's future.

Mr Ramaphosa, who came to office in 2018 vowing to tackle corruption, has denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged with any crimes.

The scandal, dubbed "Farmgate" by South African media, surfaced in June when the country's former intelligence chief, Arthur Fraser, alleged the president had concealed the theft of more than $4m (£3.2m) from his ranch in 2020.

Mr Ramaphosa acknowledged the money had been stolen, but disputed the amount and said it was $580,000 (£472,000) and had come from the sale of buffalo.

But the report by the independent parliamentary panel questioned why the animals remained at the farm more than two years later.

It said Mr Ramaphosa put himself into a situation of conflict of interest, adding that the evidence "establishes that the president may be guilty of a serious violation of certain sections of the constitution".

The report also criticised Mr Ramaphosa for failing to inform police in line with proper procedures, choosing instead to refer the matter to the head of his presidential protection unit.

South Africa's parliament is expected to debate the findings on Tuesday and vote on whether to trigger impeachment proceedings.