WATCH | Corruption anger dents faith in President Cyril Ramaphosa and the ruling ANC

03 May 2019 - 13:21 By REUTERS and TIMESLIVE

Anger over corruption has dented faith in President Cyril Ramaphosa and the ruling ANC ahead of the national elections on May 8.

Struggling farmer Meshack Ncongwane was a life-long supporter of the ANC. However, lingering corruption allegations mean that, come Wednesday, the party will not have his vote.

In 2013, ANC officials offered Ncongwane stakes in a dairy farm. 

He was one of 80 people who were set to receive an equal portion of a 50% share in Vrede Dairy Farm, a venture funded by the Free State government. 

But Ncongwane says the project, set up to help landless, black farmers, became fraudulent and is now being scrutinised by prosecutors, who claim that R200m in public money that was pumped into the project was siphoned off.

They say they are building a case, after dropping charges last year against three provincial officials and five business associates due to lack of evidence. 

All those implicated deny any wrongdoing. 

Since Ramaphosa took over as president from Jacob Zuma early last year, no senior government official has been convicted of financial wrongdoing, despite a special investigations unit having been set up to deal with claims of corruption. 

"We see corruption being investigated, but no one is being arrested. If it was me, I would have long been in jail, that's the painful part." Ncongwane said. 

Opposition leaders have used this to their advantage, centring their campaigns on  corruption. 

Opinion polls say the ANC is still backed by a majority of voters, but its support continues to slide.

Some political analysts say it could slip further ahead of the May 8 vote.