Johannesburg – The IFP has maintained that it will support the findings of the Section 89 Report into the controversial Phala Phala scandal after it was announced that a meeting of Parliament’s programming committee would convene a physical sitting on December 13, 2022.
The party also confirmed its MPs will be in attendance next week to to take part in the debate and cast their votes. The IFP said that the debate will proceed following the advice of Parliament’s legal advisers that the sub judice rule does not apply as there was no matter before the court.
The said that they were not pleased with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s actions in filing an application with the court.
"As the IFP, we believe that President Ramaphosa jumped the gun by filing an application with the court, as he would still have had an opportunity to challenge the findings of the Section 89 Report (findings) as part of the parliamentary process.
“We further do not agree with the approach taken by his legal team in challenging individual panellists, as the report is the product of a parliamentary process."
The IFP expects Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, to file an opposing affidavit.
"We therefore expect the speaker to file an opposing affidavit. We trust that ANC MPs will use their discretion as Members of Parliament next week and vote in support of the report, not against it as media reports indicate the ANC NEC has instructed. They further revealed that they will continue to support any measures that foster accountability and hold thec executive to account—without fear or favour."
This comes after ActionSA called Mapisa-Nqakula to consider the vote on the Phala Phala Section 89 panel recommendations on Tuesday to be conducted by secret ballot.
ActionSA president Herman Mashaba said this is the first time that Parliament would be putting the rules around the Section 89 process to the test, and they believed that the gravity of this situation warrants the speaker exercising her discretion to vote by way of secret ballot.
"We believe this can be achieved by allowing the vote to happen by secret ballot so that there is no retribution against members of the ruling party who want the process to unfold properly without fear or favour," said the political party.
"If indeed President Cyril Ramaphosa has done nothing wrong, why is the ANC attempting to circumvent due process? One would think that it would be better for the president to make his case and be cleared by a process of Parliament rather than cynical ANC decrees.
“It must be repeated that South Africa has had to come to terms over the last decade with political leaders who are battling criminal charges and violations of the Constitution. This seems to preoccupy these leaders when the country is desperate for effective and ethical leadership," Mashaba said.