The Democratic Alliance (DA) has rejected the decision by National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to ask the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence to investigate specific allegations arising out of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm robbery.
The party had called for an ad-hoc committee to be set up to probe the debacle. This was turned down by Mapisa-Nqakula. Instead, she referred the allegations to the Intelligence Committee, which is one of the parliamentary committees whose work is done behind the veil of secrecy.
The Phala Phala farm is now a subject of multiple probes.
Pressure is mounting on the president to come clean on what really took place at his farm.
The Hawks, the Office of the Public Protector, a yet-to-be-established panel of legal experts and now, by parliament’s Intelligence Oversight Committee.
The committee will now probe the role of his Deputy Minister of State Security, Zizi Kodwa.
ALLEGATIONS AGAINST KODWA
- He knew about the Phala Phala robbery but kept it a secret,
- He accompanied Rhode to Namibia,
- Secrecy crime intelligence fund was used in the undercover operations,
- If these allegations are true, they constitute abuse of taxpayers’ money
The Speaker wants the committee to investigate allegations that Kodwa knew about the robbery but decided to keep it a state secret; that he accompanied the head of presidential security Major General Wally Rhode during secret interactions between South African and Namibian authorities; that Crime Intelligence Funds were used in the undercover operation to hunt down the thieves.
“Joint standing committee on intelligence is a toothless dog”
In a letter to the Intelligence Oversight Committee, Mapisa-Nqakula warns that should these allegations be proven, they will constitute flagrant abuse of taxpayers’ money.
Parliament has defended Mapisa Nqakula’s decision to turn down the DA’s request for an ad-hoc committee.
“The speaker declined the request as she was of the view that some of the allegations mentioned by the DA could be considered by existing parliamentary structures including the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence. In this regard, the Speaker has forwarded it to the committee to investigate in terms of its mandate”, says Parliament Spokesperson Moloto Mothapo.
But the DA is having none of it.
The party accuses Mapisa-Nqakula of cherry-picking parts of their request. It says there are multiple allegations against the president that involve many departments and can’t be dealt with by the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence.
“Secondly, the standing committee on intelligence is a confidential committee in which the members of the committee are bound by secrecy. We believe that this move to refer parts of our requests of an ad-hoc committee, an investigation into President Cyril Ramaphosa is done in order for the Speaker to evade having parliament doing its job of holding the president and his executive to account in a transparent manner. And so, we will be exploring our next step,” says DA Deputy Chief Whip, Siviwe Gwarube.
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s troubles mounting:
The United Democratic Movement(UDM) shares the same sentiments as the DA.
UDM Leader Bantu Holomisa says, “The Speaker is wasting our time and in the process undermines our intelligence. The joint standing committee on intelligence is a toothless dog and it has no capacity and powers to investigate these serious allegations associated with Phala Phala saga.”
DA approaches FBI to investigate, 21 June 2022: