Johannesburg – For the time being, the media are barred from entering Nasrec, where the ANC’s national working committee will meet today at 2pm to discuss the Phala Phala scandal report concerning President Cyril Ramaphosa.
The media have been told by private security personnel that they are not allowed in the venue. This comes after the media were instructed to do so.
On Wednesday, retired Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo’s three-member Independent section 89 panel found that Ramaphosa had violated his oath of office in handling the break-in and theft of a huge amount of money in US dollars at his Phala Phala game farm.
The Independent Media reported that the section 89 independent panel chaired by retired Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo cautioned that Ramaphosa was not being truthful by declaring that only $580 000 (an estimated R9.5 million) was stolen.
Information obtained during a probe by Independent Media’s investigation team the Falcons showed at least $4 million was stolen at Phala Phala.
Also, information from sources with intimate knowledge of the entire saga revealed that more than $100 million was hidden.
The party will reconvene a special session of its national executive committee, which was initially scheduled for Friday but was abruptly adjourned after it was resolved that the party’s national working committee should first look into the section 89 findings.
The NEC will convene on Monday.
On Friday, Ramaphosa was a no-show, and NEC members were expected to deliberate over the report.
Party treasurer-general and acting secretary-general Paul Mashatile then told the media that Ramaphosa was not in a meeting and was in Cape Town consulting. He also said Ramaphosa had not formally engaged the party over the section 89 panel.
ANC veteran Mathews Phosa, in an interview with a broadcaster, said the NEC did something strange in the history of the party. When there was a matter like this one, they should have started by presenting the report to the officials, and then digesting and processing it. Then the officials should have presented the report to the NWC, and the NWC should then have presented it to the NEC to avoid a situation where officials had to box in front of the NEC.
"There was an error there that I think they are still correcting now. I’ll give the NEC credit for correcting it," Phosa said.
Phosa said he respected Ngcobo and the rest of the members of the panel, but said he reserved the right to differ from them.
"The report is deeply flawed. Number one, if you look at paragraph 69 of that report, it is very clear that the report is based on hearsay evidence throughout. They were not allowed to convene people to come and testify before them, and they were not allowed to (hear oral evidence from them) to interrogate and find out what the truth would be.
"Paragraph 75 is very clear as to what they were supposed to investigate and determine as to whether there would have been a prima facie case, but nowhere… does it say that they must find whether the president is found guilty of a constitutional violation, a violation of a law, or is guilty of misconduct. It does not say so," he said.
Phosa also said the Phala Phala scandal had not plunged the country into a crisis.
There are unconfirmed reports that Ramaphosa is considering approaching the courts to look into the report that suggested there might be grounds for his removal from office.
Ambassador Carl Niehaus is currently holding a one-man protest outside Nasrec’s Gate 2 with a placard reading "Ramaphosa must go".
— Ntombi Nkosi (@nntombi_nkosi) December 4, 2022
"On Friday, I was here picketing. I saw all the NEC members who came from all over the country – they were made fools (of) by Ramaphosa. They waited for two hours. He never pitched. He showed them the middle finger. I am here today and hope the MKMVA will join me to demand the NWC to have a backbone to finally fire Ramaphosa and to make sure they regain the dignity for the ANC and also save our country from infamy that Ramaphosa has plunged this country into,“ he said.