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Opposition parties unite in bid to impeach Cyril Ramaphosa over Phala Phala farm scandal

Opposition parties unite in bid to impeach Cyril Ramaphosa over Phala Phala farm scandal

Pretoria – Opposition parties have resolved to gang up against President Cyril Ramaphosa in a bid to impeach him at the next sitting of Parliament over the Phala Phala farm scandal.

The parties, who met in Ekurhuleni on Friday and call themselves “The Forum of all Opposition Parties”, consist of the DA, the EFF, the IFP, the Freedom Front Plus, the African Christian Democratic Party, the United Democratic Movement, the African Transformation Movement, the African Independent Congress, the National Freedom Party, and the PAC.

They decided to form an impeachment committee that would oversee the ousting of Ramaphosa when Parliament sits.

Ramaphosa’s woes come after the parliamentary section 89 panel report released last week found there was prima facie evidence of “serious misconduct and gross violation of the Constitution” in respect of Ramaphosa involving the Phala Phala scandal.

Ramaphosa stands accused of concealing a crime at his Limpopo farm after millions of dollars were stolen from it.

Former spy boss Arthur Fraser earlier this year laid a charge against Ramaphosa accusing him of having had a hand in the alleged kidnapping and torture of suspects who robbed the farm.

In a joint statement on Saturday, the parties confirmed the finding by the independent panel required that they set up an impeachment committee.

The statement said in part: “This finding by the independent panel is what the rules of Parliament require for the impeachment committee to be set up. ‘The Forum of all Opposition Political Parties’ represented in South Africa’s Parliament met to deliberate on measures we as opposition political parties should undertake to hold the president accountable in relation to the alleged violation of many laws and the Constitution by Mr Cyril Ramaphosa.”

The statement said the sitting tomorrow would strive to ensure that a resolution is taken to set up the impeachment committee.

The ANC itself is divided over the issue, with some members calling for the president’s resignation and others defending him. This means that if the impeachment process is activated, Ramaphosa could be fired, because members of his own party would have voted against him.

Some of the resolutions taken at Friday’s meeting were that Parliament should be physically convened to vote for the impeachment process.

“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.”

Others include ensuring that all the political parties and all MPs vote for the impeachment process to commence “because not doing so is not sensible and will not pass the rationality test”.

“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 parties further agreed that, in addition to the section 89 impeachment process, they would request the DA, which is the official opposition, to table a motion of no confidence in Ramaphosa on the basis of the prima facie evidence that he committed serious violations of the Constitution.

“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 SA Reserve Bank, the SAPS, and all other institutions that are legally and legitimately expected to hold Mr Ramaphosa accountable for the many alleged crimes committed at 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,” the statement said.

Presidency spokesperson Vincent Magwenya could not be reached for comment.

Pretoria News

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