PP cleared Cyril on Phala Phala due to ‘favour’ she needed – ATM

ATM President Vuyo Zungula.Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency(ANA)

ATM President Vuyo Zungula.Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Jul 7, 2024


The African For Transformation Movement (ATM) believes the Phala Phala report represents what they call “a quid pro quo arrangement”.

ATM president Vuyo Zungula told ‘The Star’ on Sunday that at the time Public Protector Kholeka Gcaleka (PP) was conducting her investigation into the matter, she was in need of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s favour for a promotion from acting public protector to a permanent position, while the president needed her to clear his name.

Zungula said this as his party sought to get the court to set aside the PP’s report which cleared Ramaphosa from any wrongdoing in the Phala Phala farm scandal.

He said that as a movement, they were confident that the courts will ultimately set aside the report.

“The Public Protector’s report appears to deflect blame away from the president, focusing on other people instead. As the ATM, we maintain that the president is guilty of multiple offences, including violating Section 34(1) of PRECCA, and Sections 96(2)(a) and 96(2)(b) of the Constitution, as well as 2.3(f) of the Executive Ethics Code.

“The reasoning behind the Public Protector’s conclusion is, frankly, baffling to us,” added Zungula.

On the question of whether the party was confident it had a strong case, the ATM leader said he was confident that they have a strong case, arguing that the PP’s interpretation of paid work was problematic.

“The Constitution clearly states in Section 96(2) that Members of the Cabinet may not undertake paid work. We’ve laid out our arguments comprehensively in our court filings, and while the issue is now before the court, it’s inappropriate to litigate it in the media as well.”

Earlier this year, the public protector argued in court papers that neither the provisions of the law nor legal precedent allowed her leeway to challenge the South African Revenue Service’s refusal to give her insight into Ramaphosa’s tax records.

Zungula said he noted that the apex ruling came a month before Gcaleka made her report public.

He continued to say that the PP had an opportunity to challenge SARS’ refusal to give her access to Ramaphosa’s records on the basis of confidentiality provisions in the Tax Administration Act.

Newly appointed PP’s spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said the office received ATM’s replying affidavit. He, however, said it was not a new application.

“The PPSA confirms receipt of the Applicant’s Replying Affidavit. This is not a new application, it is still a part of the original litigation. The parties will file their respective Heads of Argument, and later, the matter will be ventilated by hearing on a date still to be set,” Phasiwe explained.

The Star