President Cyril Ramaphosa was thrown a lifeline by the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) after the party’s highest decision-making body rejected the Section 89 panel report.
The NEC met on Monday in Nasrec, Joburg, to deliberate on Ramaphosa’s fate in his absence after he was excused from the meeting because he was the subject of debate.
Ramaphosa’s allies won the day. The majority of NEC members backed Ramaphosa to stay on as president of the party and the country after he filed papers, taking the report on review.
The panel — led by Justice Sandile Ngcobo — found that Ramaphosa has a case to answer in the cover-up of a $600,000 theft at his Phala Phala farm in February 2020.
Further, the panel also found that $850,000 was allegedly stashed in a sofa and not declared to the South African Reserve Bank.
Acting secretary general Paul Mashatile said the NEC threw its weight behind Ramaphosa after “fully and frankly” debating the Phala Phala report.
Another boost for Ramaphosa came when Speaker of Parliament Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula rejected the African Transformation Movement’s bid for a secret ballot when the voting for the adoption of the report takes place on Tuesday in the National Assembly.
This means that all the MPs’ votes will be known — whether they vote against the adoption of the report or for it.
ANC Chief Whip Pemmy Majodina said ANC MPs would vote as a bloc against the adoption of the report.
“The message from the NEC is clear that all ANC members of Parliament should vote against the adoption of this report. This is our marching order,” she told Scrolla.Africa.
The ANC enjoys a majority in the National Assembly of 230 MPs out of a total of 400.
However, there was speculation that some ANC MPs, who are gunning for Ramaphosa’s head, were likely in favour of the adoption of the report.
EFF leader Julius Malema said the numbers were “good” if the DA were to stop somersaulting during a media briefing on Monday.
He called out ANC presidential hopefuls Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Lindiwe Sisulu, saying they must publicly vote in favour of the report.
Ramaphosa is running for a second term as the president of the ANC and would likely square off with former health minister Zweli Mkhize, who is also vying for the top post.