Speaker of Parliament to respond to political parties’ objections against Prof Richard Calland

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Speaker of Parliament Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula says she is considering the objections of the DA and the EFF about the appointment of Prof Richard Calland to the three-member independent panel of experts.

The panel will conduct a preliminary assessment to determine if there are grounds to begin an impeachment inquiry against President Cyril Ramaphosa for the Phala Phala farm matter.

The two parties wrote to Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula expressing concerns about Calland’s independence.

Mapisa-Nqakula is currently studying the opinion of parliament’s legal advisors and aims to have a response by Friday.

It was the African Transformation Movement’s Section 89 motion tabled against President Cyril Ramaphosa that sparked this series of events. The panel consists of former Constitutional Court Chief Justice, Sandile Ngcobo, former Judge Thokozile Masipa, and University of Cape Town law professor, Richard Calland.

Calland’s appointment has been called into question.

“I subjected that to legal scrutiny as to how I deal with that. The legal opinion came back yesterda. I am now studying that. You will hear what the way forward will be,” says Mapisa-Nqakula.

The NFP’s Munzoor Shaik Emem says political parties raised concerns about how this affects the process.

Political parties in parliament intensify efforts in Phala Phala farmgate

The UDM’s Nqabayomzi Kwankwa says more scrutiny should have been applied before choosing the panel members.

“Did parliament not do a background check to avoid such an embarrassment that would have avoided the delay?” ask Kwankwa.

The EFF’s Natasha Ntlangwini says it’s concerning that speaker has already given out the appointment letters.

Secretary to Parliament Masibulele Xaso says the National Assembly Speaker acted within the rules.

“Due diligence was conducted and since then objections were raised,” says Xosa.

Mapisa-Nqakula has emphasised it is not Calland’s integrity that has been called into question, but rather his independence.

She also agreed that the process cannot be delayed.

Once the work of the panel kicks off, it has 30 days to evaluate whether there is a need for further investigation by parliament. This investigation will determine if there are grounds for Ramaphosa to be removed due to serious misconduct or violation of the Constitution.