Home News Consider the nation’s interests when deciding on Phala Phala – Phosa

Consider the nation’s interests when deciding on Phala Phala – Phosa

Consider the nation’s interests when deciding on Phala Phala – Phosa

Johannesburg – ANC stalwart Mathews Phosa has urged President Cyril Ramaphosa to consider the nation’s interests when deciding his next move after the damning independent panel report on the Phala Phala farm scandal.

He said Ramaphosa’s decision should be based on ethics and his conscience. Phosa added that the perception of the nation about Ramaphosa was not good and he needed to do introspection.

“The president is not perceived in the right light at the moment. This is not about the law but perceptions. (Late former president Nelson) Mandela used to tell us that perceptions are the reality,” said Phosa.

The former ANC treasurer-general said Ramaphosa should be worried about how he was being perceived. He said Ramaphosa was in a crisis in terms of perception.

“It is real. He is perceived badly. The question is how are you perceived as a leader? Will you stay on even when you are perceived that way? Those are the decisions he must make himself,” Phosa said.

The Section 89 independent panel found that the president may have a prima facie case to answer following allegations against him concerning the theft at his farm in February 2020, where US dollars were allegedly stolen and later recovered in Namibia.

The president failed to report the matter to law enforcement agencies and also failed to declare the money and its source of origin, which further complicated the matter.

The panel said the president may have also violated the Constitution in terms of Section 96 (2) (b) by acting in a way that is inconsistent with his oath of office and exposing himself to any situation involving the risk of a conflict between his official responsibilities and private interests of the constitution. Ramaphosa was also found to have committed serious misconduct and violated the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, and he may have acted inconsistently with his oath of office and exposed himself to a conflict of interest.

Phosa, who is also a lawyer, challenged the Hawks and National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to indicate the extent of their investigation into the matter. He said the independent panel’s report needed to be supported by evidence from the Hawks and NPA.

“The judges did not have all the evidence which is relevant to this matter. They did not have all the facts from the Hawks and NPA. They cannot pronounce it on prima facie. Prima facie means that you must listen to oral evidence and make a judgment."

He said he would like to see the Hawks and NPA completing their investigation into the matter and be clear on whether they would charge him or not. Phosa said things had worsened under Ramaphosa’s leadership, adding that the rot had escalated.

“We are not getting better, we are getting worse. Today, we got permanent load shedding which impacts the economy, our families, and small businesses. It impacts everything, especially in schools. The ANC must do deep introspection during the elective conference. It has to come with difficult answers to difficult questions. If we don’t do that then we will enter the 2024 elections dripping worms,” he said.

The ANC is expected to hold its five-day national conference from December 16, and according to Phosa, this will be an opportunity for the party to clean itself. He said branches must elect the right people who are not corrupt.

“There are good people in the ANC, and there are many. And they have kept quiet, which is wrong because we need to speak.”

Phosa said it was painful that the current leadership was disconnected from the masses. He added that the party had lost the confidence of the people who put the party into power and that this was the reason the ANC support had declined.

“The numbers that are going down indicate a loss of confidence from the people. They indicate a disconnect with the masses. And it is the basic thing because people are not asking for gold and diamond. They are asking for water, road, good hospitals, food and prices to be mitigated.

“They also want education and skills so they can be able to fend for themselves. We are not empowering people with the skills so that they can be economically mobile on their own,” Phosa said.

Leaders had forgotten about the plights of the people. He said the ANC had lost the plot to serve the people. He said some of the leaders were stealing from the taxpayers.

“There must be consequences against those stealing for taxpayers,” said Phosa. “They must be investigated, arrested, prosecuted, and sent to jail. They must pay back the money, but we don’t see that happening.

“There are no consequences to crime in this country, and it is continuing. No one has gone to jail from the Zondo Commission, which is a useless waste of taxpayers' money."

He continued: “We are not even able to walk in the mud of corruption. We are stuck in the mud of corruption, and this is a total betrayal of the legacy of Albert Luthuli and Oliver Tambo. If those gentlemen can wake up today and look at us, they will be ashamed.”

Original Article