Cape Town- EFF MP Kenny Motsamai was ejected from the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Thursday when he refused to withdraw his comments that President Ramaphosa was a criminal.
This happened when he rose to ask a follow-up question during an oral question session to Deputy President Paul Mashatile on whether as the chairperson of cabinet’s committee on justice, crime prevention and security, he would focus on speedy prosecutions of high profile cases to hasten South Africa’s removal from the Financial Action Task Force grey list.
Motsamai had asked Mashatile to provide an assurance that South Africa would be removed from the grey-listing when Ramaphosa was a “criminal” who stood accused of money laundering at his Phala Phala farm.
ANC chief whip Seiso Mohai immediately rose on a point of order.
“The President has never been found guilty by any court of law and I ask the member to withdraw the statement,” Mohai said.
NCOP chairperson Amos Masondo, who was chairing the proceedings, said Motsamai could not use language that was not in keeping with the business of the House.
“I call upon you to withdraw,” Masondo said.
But, Motsamai asked in return what he should withdraw because Ramaphosa was “involved”.
“On the case of Phala Phala he was involved.Where must I withdraw?” Motsamai asked.
Masondo told him that it was not the first time the matter was raised and that he should be fair in dealing with the matter.
“If you want to raise an issue of criminality, you have to submit a motion in the House so that the issue is openly debated,” he said.
However, Motsamai insisted on asking what word he must withdraw and Masondo asked if he would withdraw his statement.
“No I don’t withdraw,” he said.
Masondo said he would have to leave the House.
“Please leave the House. I am ordering him to leave the House,” Masondo said.
As Motsamai walked out with his documents, his colleagues rose on points of order.
One EFF MP said Motsamai was being censored and was not being allowed to express himself.
“It was freedom of speech and you want to censor him to suit the agenda of the ruling party,” she said.
Masondo overruled the EFF MP and said she did not raise a point of order.
Responding to the original question, Mashatile said South Africa was focusing on addressing the remaining 15 recommendations by January 2025.
“Our law enforcement agencies, including the NPA, are implementing an integrated action plan to ensure sustained increase in investigation and prosecution of serious and complex money laundering cases,” he said.
When pressed by DA MP Dennis Ryder on when high profile figures such as Ramaphosa, former deputy president David Mabuza, former president Jacob Zuma and others would be arrested, Mashatile said they wanted law enforcement agencies to do their work without fear or favour.
“There is no one that is special. They must do their work.
“I am not going to be chasing certain high profile leaders. The duty of the executive is not to investigate cases,” he said.
Mashatile indicated that he had responded in the National Assembly recently to a similar question that Ramaphosa had subjected himself to the processes of the law enforcement agencies.
The deputy president also said the executive should never interfere with the law enforcement agencies, which were working in a multi-disciplinary collaboration.
“Where we realise there may be capacity problems, we support them. Government’s role is to ensure we support,” he added.
Mashatile told the delegates to the NCOP that the justice, crime prevention and security committee would look closely at the work of the institutions to ensure they addressed the deficiencies identified by the Financial Action Task Force.
“That will require having the Financial Intelligence Centre that is working optimally. We are doing everything in our power to support them,” he said.