Mineral resources minister Gwede Mantashe has instructed all 230 ANC MPs to toe the line and vote against the adoption of the Phala Phala report or else face the wrath of the party.
Speaking with Scrolla.Africa in his capacity as ANC national chairperson, Mantashe said the party would not tolerate any party MPs who rebel against orders and vote in favour of the Phala Phala report that threatens to end Cyril Ramaphosa’s tenure as president.
The 400 MPs in the National Assembly will debate the Section 89 panel report next week Tuesday.
“We have all agreed to vote against the report in Parliament next week. President Ramaphosa is our leader and we will not throw him into the dragon’s den,” Mantashe told Scrolla.Africa.
Mantashe has stuck by Ramaphosa throughout the Phala Phala saga.
“If any ANC MP decides to defy the party, they would see afterwards what the ANC is capable of doing.”
It is said that other party MPs who are Ramaphosa’s opponents are plotting to vote in favour of the report which could pave the way for Ramaphosa’s impeachment.
Initially, the Parliament’s Phala Phala affair was scheduled to be discussed on Tuesday in the National Assembly.
Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula announced late on Monday that it had been postponed to next Tuesday to allow MPs to be physically present when the debate takes place.
The Phala Phala farmgate saga will decide whether Ramaphosa faces impeachment which, if successful, would strip him of lifetime presidential benefits including salary and security.
The ANC’s highest decision-making body, the National Executive Committee, instructed the party’s 230 MPs to vote to reject the adoption of the Phala Phala report.
Ramaphosa has also taken the report on review after filing papers in the Constitutional Court.
The Section 89 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.
The panel also found that $850,000 was allegedly stashed in a sofa and not declared to the South African Reserve Bank.
Ramaphosa is pulling out all the stops to retain his position as ANC president when the party holds its 55th elective conference from 16 to 20 December in Nasrec, Joburg.
This has pitted him against former health minister Zweli Mkhize, who is also vying for the position.