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Phala Phala debate postponed

By Lungani Zungu

As President Cyril Ramaphosa fights for his political survival amid the blazing Phala Phala flames Parliament pushed the debate of the Section 89 panel report to next Tuesday.

The discussion over the Phala Phala affair was scheduled to be held on Tuesday in the National Assembly.

However, Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, announced late on Monday evening that it had been postponed to allow the 400 members of Parliament to be physically present when the debate takes place.

This follows a special meeting of the National Assembly’s programme committee on Monday night.

The talk over the Phala Phala farmgate saga will decide whether Ramaphosa would face impeachment which, if successful, would strip him of lifetime presidential benefits including salary and security.

The ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) has instructed the party’s 230 MPs to toe the party line and vote to reject the adoption of the report. Ramaphosa has taken the report on review after filing papers in the apex Constitutional Court.

The NEC met on Monday in Nasrec, Joburg, to deliberate on Ramaphosa’s fate in his absence. He was excused from the meeting because he was the subject of the debate.

Ramaphosa, who had put his official duties on ice following the damning report last week, has resumed his presidential duties.

He is officiating the World Science Forum in Cape Town on Tuesday 6 December.

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 of ANC president when the party holds its 55th elective conference from 16 to 20 December in Nasrec, Joburg.

He is up against former health minister Zweli Mkhize, who is also eyeing the position.

Pictured above: President Cyril Ramaphosa

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