Home News South African Council of Churches asks ANC to keep Cyril Ramaphosa

South African Council of Churches asks ANC to keep Cyril Ramaphosa

South African Council of Churches asks ANC to keep Cyril Ramaphosa

Tshwarelo Hunter Mogakane

Pretoria – South African Council of Churches general secretary Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana has thrown his support behind embattled President Cyril Ramaphosa amid calls for him to resign.

Mpumlwana said the SACC welcomed the section 89 independent panel report by former Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo, but believes calls for Ramaphosa to leave office are unjustified.

“This panel report is a significant starting point of the National Assembly to entrench its constitutional responsibility of oversight over the executive and holding it to account.

“Our Constitution places no one or office beyond public accountability,” said the bishop.

The SACC said the anger towards Ramaphosa was understandable but unwarranted.

“We understand the widespread anger and disappointment expressed by society in the wake of this report. The disappointment and anger over what confronts the nation now seem to emanate in part from the incredulity of the circumstances that are engulfing a president who is perceived in this matter to have reversed the impact of state capture.

“There are hot debates on what President Ramaphosa should do in response to Justice Ngcobo’s report. Some say he should resign, and others say he should not. In the past, the ANC has removed presidents of the Republic – Mbeki, Zuma – outside of the constitutional code,” he said.

“One way or the other in this case, we might inadvertently deny the country the practice of its constitutional system.

The section 89 independent panel report is only the first step in a longer process that can lead to an impeachment of President Ramaphosa by a two-thirds majority of the National Assembly.

“In church tribunal processes, the Ngcobo Panel is like a board of preliminary investigation, where no evidence is led or rebutted. This may be why the report says the president may have broken the law, and it now requires processes of adducing evidence as is appropriate.”

According to the SACC, Ramaphosa should continue to lead South Africa until all processes looking into his Phala Phala farmgate scandal are exhausted.

“This is an important consideration, because the parliamentary system will involve due processes that include a parliamentary impeachment committee, wherein proper evidence would be led.

“The wider powers of the parliamentary committee to investigate this matter more deliberately where the president can defend himself will hopefully bring in the evidence that may have been gathered by SARS and other relevant investigating institutions,“ the bishop said.

Mpumalanga further asked the ANC national executive committee to tread carefully on the Phala Phala issue.

“Furthermore, we need the investigations of the justice system, the SARS investigations, and the parliamentary process to be conducted satisfactorily without undue delay.

“An extended process will undermine the moral and ethical authority of the president."

Meanwhile, the ANC national executive committee is expected to meet today following an adjourned meeting over the weekend.

There is speculation that some ANC leaders wanted to discuss the section 89 report with Ramaphosa present at their meeting.

Pretoria News

Original Article