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Presidency mum on calls to account for farmgate

President of the Republic of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa.Image : Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

President of the Republic of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa.Image : Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Aug 5, 2022

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SIYABONGA SITHOLE

President Cyril Ramaphosa has not responded to calls by seven of the country’s leading opposition parties to account for the Phala Phala farm scandal.

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This comes after ACDP, ATM, DA, EFF, IFP NFP and UDM agreed on Wednesday to hold Ramaphosa accountable following a meeting held in Joburg this week.

According to a statement issued by the EFF and DA, which was endorsed by all other parties, it was agreed and resolved by the parties to ramp up the heat with regards to the Phala Phala allegations.

A series of engagements and approaches will see Ramaphosa being held responsible for his alleged under-handed deeds that have since emerged since Arthur Fraser laid a formal complaint to the Rosebank police on June 1.

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“We were unanimous that the president must be held accountable as a matter of urgency, and no delays, distractions and procrastination should be permitted,” the statement says.

Ramaphosa’s sealing of his answers to the public protector concerning what happened at his Phala Phala farm is one of the main reasons why opposition parties have decided to speak with one voice that the president should be held accountable.

The meeting between the country’s leading opposition parties comes after National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula missed her own deadline to hold Ramaphosa accountable on the Phala Phala matter through an ad hoc committee which the parties had requested.

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It is reported that all the opposition parties expressed their concerns and dissatisfaction with the manner in which Mapisa-Nqakula had handled the demands made by the opposition to hold the president accountable through parliamentary processes.

“We are also in agreement that the concealment of the president’s responses to the public protector on the Phala Phala matter is unacceptable and must be challenged,” the parties say.

Among the principles agreed upon by the parties involved is that Parliament must hold Ramaphosa accountable for the violation of the laws of this country, with the parties also agreeing to hold broader consultations and engagements on a common approach in getting the president to be held liable for the farm debacle.

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The parties also call for the public protector to release the report on the investigations on Phala Phala and for Parliament to be physically convened to deal with this matter urgently.

“Opposition parties will request a follow-up meeting with the Speaker to discuss all accountability issues, including the usage of a secret ballot for motions of no confidence, and as opposition parties, we will intensify our collective and individual court actions against the Speaker of the National Assembly and all other institutions that are attempting to suppress Parliament’s constitutional obligations to hold the executive and Parliament accountable,” reads part of the statement.

Attempts to get comment from the president’s office proved unsuccessful yesterday as the calls and messages went unanswered by the president’s spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya.

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