South Africa: Parliament to Consider Section 89 Report Next Week

The National Assembly will consider and adopt a resolution on the report of the Section 89 independent panel into President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday next week.

This was announced by National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula during the handover of the report by the panel led by retired Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo.

The panel investigated whether there is sufficient evidence to show that President Cyril Ramaphosa violated any grounds of impeachment set out in Section 89 of the Constitution linked to his conduct related to a robbery at his Phala Phala game farm in 2020.

The section provides that a sitting President can be removed on these grounds:

  • serious violation of the Constitution or the law
  • serious misconduct
  • inability to perform the functions of office

“The report will be communicated to members of Parliament through the next publication of the Announcements, Tabling and Committee Reports tonight. We have set aside the 6th of December for consideration by the National Assembly.

“The role of the National Assembly pertaining to this report is articulated in the rules. The House will consider the report, its findings and recommendations and adopt a resolution through a simple majority vote whether a further action by the House is necessary or not,” she said.

The Speaker emphasised that the work of political parties related to the panel has ensured the impartiality of the report.

“The ceremonial handover of the report of the Section 89 independent panel marks one of the indicative milestones in South Africa’s maturing democracy.

“The involvement of political parties in the constitution of the panel forms an essential element of checks and balances to jealously guard its independence to remove any perception of bias so that the integrity of its outcome is not brought into question,” she said.

Ngcobo emphasised that the panel followed the mandate set out by the National Assembly (NA) to the letter during its investigation.

The other members of the panel were Judge Thokozile Masipa and Advocate Mahlape Sello.

“Someone went on television and said if this panel does not call the Hawks, it would not have done its job. Let me make it quite clear… that’s not our job. Our job was to interrogate the information that members of the [National] Assembly saw fit to present to us. That’s what the rules set by the National Assembly told and required us to do.

“It is not in my blood to disregard the law. I live by the law and that’s what I have to do. So let me clear that perception once and for all. It was not our job to call whoever you wanted us to call to help us here. The rules that [the NA] made, made it quite clear and that’s what these volumes [of the report] are based on,” he said.

The report consists of three volumes with the first being the report itself and the latter being a record of proceedings.

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