MPs to vote for or against adoption of Section 89 independent Panel Report on Tuesday

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Members of Parliament (MPs) will vote for or against the adoption of Section 89 independent Panel Report. All 400 members of the National Assembly are expected to attend the sitting in person.

A simple majority of 50 plus 1 is needed to institute a committee to probe President Cyril Ramaphosa over the Phala Phala matter or to vote against a Section 89 Committee.

Last month, the Independent Panel of Experts led by the retired Chief Justice, Sandile Ngcobo formally handed over the report to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.

The African National Congress (ANC) is the majority party in Parliament with 230 members, while the official opposition the Democratic Alliance (DA) has 84 and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) 44.

Two weeks ago, the Independent Panel of Experts led by the retired Chief Justice, Sandile Ngcobo formally handed over their report to the Speaker of the National Assembly Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.

The Speaker then stated that the adoption of the report will only require a simple majority as opposed to a two-thirds majority.

“The House will consider the report, its findings, and recommendations and adopt a resolution through a simple majority vote whether further action by the House is necessary or not,” says Mapisa-Nqakula.

Retired Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo, when handling the report explained how the report was compiled.

“The report consists of three volumes, the first volume, volume one is the report itself. Volume two, and three are the records of the proceedings which contain every single document on which we relied on in order to prepare this report,” says Ngcobo.

The DA says it will vote in favour of the Section 89 report that found President Ramaphosa has a case to answer for the theft of foreign currency from his Phala Pahala Farm two years ago.

“The Democratic Alliance stands ready to vote in favor of the impeachment inquiry process in parliament. We have been resolute about the fact that this is the report which was commissioned by parliament. It belongs to parliament and it has now been handed over to the institution to act on it as the panel was instructed to do,” DA Chief Whip, Siviwe Gwarube explains.

Professor Bheki Mngomezulu from the University of the Western Cape says there is a real possibility that some ANC MPs will vote with the opposition in the section 89 report.

“Some members of the ANC are already having some reservations on this matter and therefore ordinarily, they will say the report should be accepted. So you will find some members and definitely not the main but there will be members of the ANC who will vote with the opposition and say the report must be accepted. And there is also a possibility that there might be some few people who might decide to abstain for one reason or the other where others may not avail themselves for this particular sitting.”

This will be for the first time in the history of the country’s democracy where a sitting President is being subjected to an impeachment process. It remains to be seen whether the 170 members of the house from the opposition benches will be able to secure enough support from ANC MPs who are expected to vote in favor of the report by disobeying the party instructions.