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In case you did not know what is likely to unfold in relation to Ramaphosa’s possible impeachment fate. Read with a view to understanding and not arguing.

Caroline Du Plessis



MPs call for manual, secret voting for Tuesday’s Phala Phala vote
01 December 2022 – 13:51
Andisiwe Makinana
Political correspondent

Then, MPs were not allowed to reflect on the merits of the report and limited their input to the process.
Image: Anton Scholtz
MPs have agreed to fully debate the report of a panel of legal experts which found that President Cyril Ramaphosa may have committed a serious violation of the law and serious misconduct in terms of the constitution.

This was due to “the gravity of the panel’s report” and to ensure the matter was “properly ventilated”, MPs said.

This is opposed to the process the National Assembly followed when it adopted the report of the panel led by retired Constitutional Court judge Bess Nkabinde, which found substantial information that constituted prima facie evidence of incompetence and misconduct against public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane in 2021.

Then, MPs were not allowed to reflect on the merits of the report and limited their input to the process.

At Thursday’s programming committee meeting, ACDP MP Steve Swart proposed the house have a full debate “given the gravity of the panel’s report, I think we need to properly ventilate that issue.”

Swart’s proposal was supported by ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina, and no-one opposed it.

The debate will be held on Tuesday before the National Assembly votes on whether to adopt the report and its recommendations.

It is still unclear however what voting method will be followed.

DA chief whip Siviwe Gwarube wrote to National Assembly speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula on Wednesday to request parliament use a roll-call system when MPs vote on the Phala Phala report so that every MP present at Tuesday’s sitting, whether in person or online, is accounted for.

African Transformation Movement’s Vuyo Zungula has requested a secret ballot saying an open vote will not be according to each member’s conscience as required by their oath of office but would be according to party loyalty and party line factionalism. This was with regards to ANC MPs, he said.  

Mapisa-Nqakula said she would consider the requests. The speaker has discretion on how parliament votes but her decision has to be rational to survive constitutional scrutiny.

What comes next
Meanwhile, secretary of the National Assembly Masibulele Xaso explained that on Tuesday MPs will discuss the recommendations of the panel.

If the house agrees with the panel’s report, that there is indeed a basis for the panel’s recommendation, it will proceed to the impeachment committee.

“What will happen after the debate, a question will be put that its recommendations be agreed to.

“If the recommendations are agreed to, that activates the impeachment committee,” explained Xaso.

He said the committee is already established according to the rules, but it will be a matter of nominating MPs to serve on it and the speaker making a determination in terms of the membership of that committee.

The rules state all parties should be represented in the impeachment committee.

A panel of legal experts led by retired chief justice Sandile Ngcobo found Ramaphosa may have committed a serious violation of the law and serious misconduct in terms of the constitution.

The panel said Ramaphosa has a case to answer on the charges that he may have seriously violated the law with regards to his failure to report the burglary at his Phala Phala farm two years ago and for undertaking paid work while a member of the cabinet.

LISTEN | Phala Phala report handover ‘marks a milestone in SA democracy’: Mapisa-Nqakula


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