‘No provision for impeachment committee against President without prescribed process’

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Parliament says National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has advised the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), that the National Assembly Rules do not make provision for the establishment of an impeachment committee against a President, without a prescribed process.

It says the EFF made the request that the National Assembly Programme Committee should allow it to propose for the establishment of an impeachment committee during Thursday afternoon’s plenary session.

The EFF wants President Cyril Ramaphosa to face a Section 89 Inquiry over the Phala Phala matter. The majority of the National Assembly voted against the panel’s report at the Cape Town City Hall in December last year. An impeachment committee could therefore not be established.

Parliament’s Spokesperson Moloto Mothapo says the EFF based its request on Wednesday’s Constitutional Court order on Ramaphosa’s application to review and set aside the Section 89 Independent Panel’s report.

In her reply, the Speaker said the order of the Constitutional Court of 1 March 2023, that the President had not made out a case for exclusive jurisdiction or direct access to the Court, in no way invalidates the decision of the Assembly taken on 13 December 2022 when the matter was concluded.

Last year, the National Assembly considered the report of the Panel on the Phala-Phala matter and decided against its adoption. The ConCourt order made no findings in relation to the merits of the panel report, or the validity of the decision of the Assembly.

Phala Phala Report below:

When Members of Parliament (MPs) voted on the report following the debate, they had to either vote Yes, No, or Abstaining. The method of voting was a roll-call which requires that the names of MPs be called to vote publicly in the chamber.

Five ANC MPs defied the party line. They voted in favour of the report and for the President to face a Section 89 Inquiry.  Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma led the protest vote.

Four other ANC MPs who also voted in favour of the report were Tandi Mahambehlala who unsuccessfully wanted to change her vote later, Supra Mahumapelo, Mosebenzi Zwane and Mervyn Dirks who resigned as an MP recently.

The Assembly resolved not to pass the report or to establish an impeachment committee to conduct the Section 89 Inquiry after the majority voted against the panel’s report. Mapisa-Nqakula read the results:

“Those who voted Yes 148, those who voted No, 214, Abstain…2. therefore, the Section 89 Inquiry will therefore not be proceeded. That concludes the business of the day and the House is adjourned,” concluded Mapisa-Nqakula.

Mapisa-Nqakula announces voting results on debate: