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FF Plus supports calls for parliamentary probe into Phala Phala farm

President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the media in Parliament about the break-in at his farm and the foreign currency that was found there. Photograph: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the media in Parliament about the break-in at his farm and the foreign currency that was found there. Photograph: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jun 28, 2022

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THE Freedom Front Plus has come out in support of calls for the establishment of a parliamentary committee to look into President Cyril Ramaphosa’s “farmgate”.

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The party’s leader, Piet Groenewald, said his party supported the proposal to appoint a parliamentary committee to look into all the circumstances surrounding the Phala Phala incident and Ramaphosa’s role in it.

“President Ramaphosa has already indicated that he is willing to appear before the ANC’s integrity committee to provide answers to the many questions about the money that was stolen from his farm.

“For this reason, there rests an even greater obligation on him to also appear before a parliamentary committee to shed more light on the incident,” Groenewald said.

On Sunday, DA leader John Steenhuisen said he wanted National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to establish an ad hoc committee following media reports that surfaced at the weekend.

Steenhuisen had said since Parliament was currently in recess, the duty to establish such an ad-hoc committee rested entirely with Mapisa-Nqakula.

He also said the allegations that a secret crime intelligence fund was used to pay for the clandestine, off-the-record operation to track and recover the stolen money and apprehend the suspects as well as the deployment of elite task force members to Ramaphosa’s farm have broadened the scope of the scandal considerably.

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“The alleged involvement of Deputy State Security Minister Zizi Kodwa in secret discussions with Namibian authorities means that this scandal now involves, among others, the VIP Protection Services, SAPS, the Justice Department, Crime Intelligence and State Security.

“This is now well beyond the scope of any single portfolio committee, and as such it calls for the establishment of an ad-hoc committee,” Steenhuisen said.

He also said it was now clear that Parliament would not get satisfactory answers directly from Ramaphosa, whom he claimed has not provided answers to written questions nor answered any of the questions put to him in the parliamentary debate.

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Groenewald said Ramaphosa was accountable to Parliament.

He charged that Parliament has the power to table a motion of no confidence in the president and that was important to appoint a committee that could conduct its own investigation into the matter.

“This links closely with the Zondo commission into state capture's recommendation that a parliamentary portfolio committee on the presidency must be instituted.

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“The FF Plus also supports this recommendation to grant Parliament a greater oversight role,” he said.

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