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EFF applies to Con Court to reopen Phala Phala investigation

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Johnathan Paoli

THE EFF on Thursday officially launched its application in the Constitutional Court to declare Parliament’s decision not to adopt the independent panel’s report on Phala Phala “irrational and unlawful”.

The independent panel, appointed by Parliament, was led by retired Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo and found that President Cyril Ramaphosa may have violated his oath of office in relation to the stolen American Dollars that were hidden in his sofa.

The panel report that Ramaphosa had a prima facie case to answer was rejected by the ANC using its majority in Parliament, meaning the President was not compelled to answer any questions or be probed further.

South Africa’s former Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo hands over the report to the Speaker of Parliament, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula on whether or not President Cyril Ramaphosa should face an impeachment inquiry over the Phala Phala saga in Cape Town, South Africa, November 30, 2022. Image: REUTERS/Esa Alexander

In their notice of motion, the EFF sought, in respect of Rule 129I of the Rules of the NA, a declaration that the rule was inconsistent with the Constitution, as it allowed the NA to vote against any possible impeachment proceedings in circumstances where a prima facie case has been made against a sitting president by the panel, in addition being impermissibly vague.

Some have raised concerns over the consequences of the increasing attempts at holding the president accountable, with political analyst Nkosikhulule Nyembesi saying that an early election could be triggered by a successful conviction of Ramaphosa, although considering the average time-frame of legal proceedings involving top government officials, it remains a dubious enterprise at best.

In their application to the court, the Red Berets said that this was a matter grounded in principles of accountability and transparency as stated in the Constitution, and that the NA failed in their constitutional duty of holding the executive accountable.

“The EFF is confident that the application to the Constitutional Court will be successful as there is precedence of illegal and irrational decisions taken by Parliament, that are rooted in partisanship instead of rationality, being set aside by the highest court in the land,” party spokesperson Sinawo Thambo said.

Thambo said that MPs were being suspended for holding Ramaphosa accountable for corruption and constitutional delinquency, the rules of Parliament are changed drastically to stifle opposition voices, and the ruling party uses its political majority to vote against efforts of holding those who lead our country accountable for violation of our Constitution.

“The EFF will not be complicit in the destruction of Parliament as an institution of transparency and accountability, and will not stand idly by as the Constitution of South Africa is violated with impunity,” the party spokesperson said.

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