Tshwarelo Hunter Mogakane
Pretoria – Right-wing political party the Freedom Front Plus has joined opposition parties in Parliament who want embattled President Cyril Ramaphosa to be held accountable over the Phala Phala farmgate matter.
The Forum of Opposition Political Parties has held its fourth meeting to discuss a way forward in dealing with the scandal that pushed Ramaphosa into a difficult corner in recent days.
The parties include the DA, the EFF, the IFP, the African Christian Democratic Party, the United Democratic Movement, the National Freedom Party, the African Transformation Movement, the African Independent Congress, Cope, and the PAC.
"The forum welcomes the Freedom Front Plus, which is now part of the forum, and accepts the apology for yesterday’s meeting,“ said the forum.
The opposition parties agreed on five points of action, starting with convening the National Assembly to initiate impeachment processes against Ramaphosa tomorrow.
"The reason for physically convening Parliament is to avoid a situation in which represented political parties lock up members of Parliament in private venues that are not protected and secure for Parliament and all of its members.
“All political parties and all members of Parliament must vote for the impeachment process to commence, because not doing so is not sensible and will not pass the rationality test.”
The forum also warned that a failure to establish the impeachment committee would be a violation of the Constitution.
"Voting against the section 89 independent panel’s recommendations will be a violation of Parliament’s constitutional obligation to hold the executive accountable, and previous rulings of the Constitutional Court have condemned Parliament’s lack of oversight and vigilance over the executive.
"The forum of opposition parties further agrees that, in addition to the section 89 impeachment process, we will request the Democratic Alliance, the official leader of the opposition, to table a motion of no confidence against Mr Ramaphosa on the basis of the prima facie evidence that he committed serious violations of the Constitution and laws of the Republic," said the forum.
The forum said the EFF should table the motion if DA parliamentarians are unable to.
"If the Democratic Alliance, which is the second largest political party in parliament, is unable to table the motion of no confidence, the Economic Freedom Fighters, which is the third largest political party in Parliament, will table the motion of no confidence against Mr Cyril Ramaphosa before the sitting of the National Assembly on the December 6, 2022.
"The Forum of Opposition Political Parties will table a proposal to the Speaker, the chief whips forum, and the National Assembly programming committee that will result in the schedule of Parliament being extended to accommodate an exhaustive approach and process on the section 89 impeachment process, because it cannot be delayed any further," the parties stated.
According to the forum, a press conference will be held tomorrow before the National Assembly session.
"We call on all the people of South Africa to unite in defence of our Constitution and the rule of law. We are concerned and take serious exception to the continued delays on investigations by the acting public protector, the South African Reserve Bank, the South African Police Service, and all other institutions that are legally and legitimately expected to hold Mr Ramaphosa accountable for the many alleged crimes committed in Phala Phala.
“The delays seem to be part of an overall attempt to cover up the alleged crimes committed, including the alleged violations of South Africa’s currency laws, abductions, and money laundering.
“We reiterate our call that, for the sake of justice, transparency, and fairness, Mr Ramaphosa must step down to allow the investigations to happen without fear of reprisals or repercussions.”