DA to push for Ad Hoc committee ‘if Ramaphosa has no case to answer’

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The Democratic Alliance (DA) has warned that should the independent panel probing the Phala Phala matter find that President Cyril Ramaphosa has no case to answer, they will push for the establishment of an Ad Hoc committee to probe the matter further.

The Section 89 inquiry panel is expected to hand over its report to National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula on Wednesday.

The panel was formed after the African Transformation Movement (ATM) submitted a motion of no confidence against Ramaphosa.

This followed the criminal complaint laid against Ramaphosa by former State Security DG Arthur Fraser who claimed the president had tried to conceal the theft of US dollars at his Phala Phala farm in Limpopo.

DA Chief Whip, Siviwe Gwarube, says they are not going to let this matter go.

“This is clearly not something the president has done alone there are cabinet ministers who have not been probed. We didn’t understand why he would not want a probe that would clear people. So, what we are saying is that the Section 89 panel what they have to establish is whether or not there’s prima facie evidence that he broke the law to warrant impeachment against him. It is possible that the panel has insufficient evidence and that doesn’t mean that the president has nothing to answer. We are not going to let the matter go because by his own admission the president said he reported the matter but didn’t approach saps as any law-abiding President should.”

VIDEO: Experts to submit the Phala Phala saga report to Parliament on Wednesday 

The three-member panel led by retired Chief Justice, Sandile Ngcobo has been assessing whether Ramaphosa has a case to answer on constitutional grounds for the alleged theft of foreign currency at his Phala Phala farm nearly three years ago.

The panel was granted a 13-day extension to conclude its work by November the 30th.

The panel’s main task was to evaluate a draft motion by the ATM calling for Ramaphosa’s removal from office under Section 89 of the Constitution for allegedly violating his oath of office. The party alleged that Ramaphosa concealed the theft of US dollars which were kept on his farm.

A Section 89 panel is established in terms of Rule 129 of the National Assembly Rules. The Rule outlines all the processes to be followed if a President faces a motion tabled by a member of the National Assembly in terms of Section 89 of the Constitution. It was developed following a successful Constitutional Court challenge by the EFF versus former National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete in December 2017.

The new Rule was approved by the Assembly in November 2018. During the debate,  Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MP, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi predicted that the first President the rule must be tested on should be President Ramaphosa. However, Ndlozi was ruled out of order and kicked out of the Chamber by House Chairperson Mmatlala Boroto.

AUDIO: EFF’s Ndlozi kicked out of the Chamber during debate: