The DA will push for an ad hoc committee on Phala Phala, should the independent panel probing the matter find that President Cyril Ramaphosa has no case to answer.
The section 89 inquiry panel led by former Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo, former head of the Gauteng High Court Division, Judge Thokozile Masipa and advocate Mahlape Sello is expected to hand over its report to National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula tomorrow.
The panel was formed after the ATM submitted a motion of no confidence against Ramaphosa after former spy boss Arthur Fraser laid a criminal charge against the president and former head of the Presidential Protection Unit, Wally Rhoode, for allegedly kidnapping five men and a woman to reveal where they had hidden millions in foreign currency stolen from the president’s farm.
DA leader John Steenhuisen at a media conference yesterday said they were concerned that the section 89 inquiry would not fully cover the extent of the claims made against the president.
He said in the absence of final reports from the Public Protector, South African Reserve Bank and Independent Police Investigative Directorate, it would be difficult for the inquiry to say the president has a prima facie case to answer.
“The correct procedure would have been for Parliament to initiate an ad hoc committee to call the president and other role-players before Parliament to assess the evidence. The concern is that the panel might say these are untested allegations and the prima facie test has not been met and that there is a need for the other agencies to complete their investigations.”
Steenhuisen said an ad hoc committee was used in former president Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla matter but Mapisa-Nqakula rejected this in favour of the panel inquiry for the Phala Phala matter.
Opposition parties, including the EFF, IFP, NFP, UDM and ACDP, have held several meetings and said they would ensure Parliament holds Ramaphosa accountable.
Steenhuisen said Parliament could not have different rules for different presidents and must hold members of the executive accountable.
“The precedent that had been set in Parliament was designed to stand in good stead going forward,” said Steenhuisen.