President Ramaphosa to respond to Section 89 report: Presidency

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The Presidency says President Cyril Ramaphosa will soon make an announcement in response to the report of the Section 89 Independent Panel of Experts.

The report was made public on Wednesday night.

This comes hours after the panel chaired by retired Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo handed over the report to National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula yesterday morning.

They found that he may have seriously violated section 34 (1) of the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Activities Act.

The Act places an on obligation on any person in authority to report corrupt transactions if they know or may have any suspicion that such a crime has been committed.

The panel found that the information that was placed before it disclosed that the President may have committed a serious violation of Section 96 (2 ) (a) of the Constitution, which states that members of cabinet and deputy ministers may not undertake any other paid work.

The panel says the President may have also seriously violated the Constitution in terms of Section 96 (2) (b) by acting in a way that is inconsistent with his oath of office and exposing himself to any situation involving the risk of a conflict between his official responsibilities and private interests of the constitution.

The report was released to Members of Parliament and the public through the Announcements Tablings and Committee reports (ATC) on Wednesday evening.

Reaction following the release of the report

There’s been mixed reactions from political parties after the Parliamentary Section 89 Panel released its findings on Wednesday evening.

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen says the Section 89 Panel report has placed President Cyril Ramaphosa in an exceptionally difficult position.

Steenhuisen says: “We are going to spend the evening studying the report and go through it with our legal team. We will make a full and proper statement on Thursday about what we think the best way forward is. But I would say at this stage that we respect the outcome of the panel. I do think the reverberations of this report on the country as a whole will be felt significantly in the coming days.”

Meanwhile, The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has called on President Ramaphosa to step down following the recommendations of the Section 89 Independent Panel that was tasked to probe the Phala Phala farm scandal.

EFF spokesperson, Sinawo Tambo has labelled the recommendations of the panel as damning and scathing.

“Look, as the EFF we find this as a damning, scathing and very definitive finding by the Independent Panel which has essentially told the nation and the continent and the entire globe that South Africa is presided over by a gangster President who laundered money, who violates the constitution and his oath of office.”

United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa has also called for President Ramaphosa to go.

Holomisa asserted that there is no further need for Parliament to probe the matter.