Editor’s Note: DA shows Phala Phala double standards

DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/Independent Newspapers

DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/Independent Newspapers

Published Jun 20, 2024


It might be early days for what has been termed the Government of National Unity (GNU) but the DA has demonstrated what English historian John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton (1834-1902) meant when he said: “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

It’s with these words in mind that we must examine the party’s sudden change of tune over President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm saga.

The party that several months ago, was leading the charge to have Ramaphosa impeached, today tells South Africans that it will not support any such move until evidence suggests that there should be an impeachment.

“We have not said in future we will never ever do anything but we will not support a motion of no confidence in the president ... that is definitely part of the agreement.

“If any evidence emerges of criminal wrongdoing or something like that, we would have to look at the issues and deal with them inside the GNU, no question.

“We can’t be held hostage,” says DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille.

It boggles the mind that this is the DA that, in March 2023, said: “It now seems more likely than ever that Ramaphosa may have been in possession of these dirty dollars for a corrupt, illicit or criminal purpose”.

Of course, a lot has changed since then. What has not changed is the fact that Ramaphosa, as per the section 89 panel report, might have violated his oath of office over the undeclared foreign currency concealed in couches on his Phala Phala farm.

What has also not changed is that Ramaphosa is yet to legally challenge the damning findings of the panel led by retired Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo, which effectively found that he has a case to answer.

The DA’s change of heart to shield Ramaphosa is good for the GNU but could be at odds with the Constitution, the same document which the GNU was supposedly formed to uphold.

The DA’s support, just like how Sars (the SA Reserve Bank) and the public protector all “cleared” Ramaphosa of wrongdoing, will not remove the Phala Phala stain that taints Ramaphosa.

If anything, it could cost the DA its loyal supporters who believed in its claim of protecting the rule of law and the Constitution.

Cape Times