Cape Town - ANC MP and chief whip Pemmy Majodina used her speech during the Presidency budget vote on Wednesday to downplay the scathing finding by an independent panel that President Cyril Ramaphosa may have breached his oath of office over the Phala Phala farm scandal.
She told MPs in Parliament on Wednesday that the ANC chose to shoot down the adoption of the report believing that another forum could come to a different conclusion.
In their report to National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula in November, the three-member Section 89 panel led by retired chief justice Sandile Ngcobo found that Ramaphosa may have violated a number of laws, with:
- A serious violation of section 96(2) (a) of the Constitution.
- A serious violation of section 34(1) of Precca (Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act).
- Serious misconduct in that the president violated section 96(2)(b) of the Constitution by acting in a way that is inconsistent with his office.
- Serious misconduct in that the president violated section 96(2)(b) by exposing himself to a situation involving a conflict between his official responsibilities and his private business.
At the time of voting on whether to adopt the report, which would have paved the way for impeachment proceedings against Ramaphosa, the ANC used its majority to shoot it down, arguing that its president would challenge it.
However, Ramaphosa recently confirmed that he no longer wanted to review and set the report aside, after his bid to challenge it in the Constitutional Court was dismissed.
During Wednesday’s sitting, DA leader John Steenhuisen said: “He promised a clean and accountable government.
What he did was stuff dollars in his Phala Phala couch. Your legal advisers have told you not to challenge the high court ruling that the Phala Phala report stands, because you will lose.”
In his address, Ramaphosa focused his speech on the electricity crisis. He said that South Africa faced a “difficult winter” due to increased demand and several units at Medupi, Kusile and Koeberg power stations being under repair and remaining offline.
Ramaphosa said that he and Deputy President Paul Mashatile had, over the past few weeks, met ministers to identify specific tasks that required focus.
Among those focus areas were the impact of load shedding, unemployment and poverty.
Ramaphosa said that the overriding priority is to end load shedding and to achieve energy security.
He said that over the past nine months, progress had been made in implementing the measures that were outlined in the energy action plan, including allowing the private sector to invest in electricity generation projects of any size, accelerating the procurement of new generation capacity, enabling municipalities to procure power independently, driving progress on the unbundling of Eskom into separate entities for generation, transmission and distribution, and making progress in decisively addressing Eskom’s debt burden.
EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu called on young people to vote decisively and encouraged them to make the 2024 election like the one of 1994.