Phala Phala: End of the road for Ramaphosa?

WITH the damning findings against President Cyril Ramaphosa after the Section 89 parliamentary panel found that he violated the Constitution, some analysts have weighed in on Ramaphosa’s future.

Independent political analyst and Senior lecturer at the University of Limpopo, Dr Metjie Makgoba, believes that the tone of the report suggests that the President must resign and face the rule of law.

“Although it is cautiously drafted, the serious nature of the allegations and the evidence presented suggests that the president violated the rule of law. This is not a Chinese puzzle. The fact that he knew about the crime and did not report it to the police is a serious crime,” Makgoba said.

He added: “If he was an ethical man, he would simply volunteer to stand down, but he is not. He is going to use tricks to evade responsibility. But his tricks would be now tested in public for everyone to see his shenanigans.”

Makhgoba further said: “He is a compromised man. The only way he can survive this scandal is if he buys the upcoming ANC conference to silence his critics and the NPA. Otherwise, his political life will end, and the roads to correctional services.”

Leader of the African People’s Convention (APC) and former chair of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, Themba Godi, on the other hand, says this is the “end of the road” for Ramaphosa.

“The APC has always maintained that despite all the empty talk, President Ramaphosa has not been honest, transparent, or accountable in his short tenure as president of the country.

“The APC believes that this is the end of the road for Ramaphosa. Politically it will be untenable for the ANC to try and dismiss the panel report nor for Ramaphosa to go and try to argue his case before a parliamentary committee.

“Whenever he decides to resign, the APC believes that the country is owed a full disclosure of what happened at Phala Phala,” Godi stated.

Godi also indicated that the APC welcomed the Parliamentary Panel report on the Phala Phala scandal and said that based on the available evidence, it was a foregone conclusion that prima facie evidence existed for President Ramaphosa to be found guilty of serious misconduct.

The Section 89 Independent Panel – which comprises Ngcobo, retired High Court Judge Thokozile Masipa, and Advocate Mahlape Sello – found that Ramaphosa “has a case to answer on the origin of the foreign currency that was stolen as well as the underlying transaction for it”.

“There is no evidence as to how this money came into the Republic. The exact amount of foreign currency stolen is yet to be disclosed.

The investigation by the South African Reserve Bank suggests strongly that it had no records of this money entering this country or being reported as having been received. Other than his name, there are no other particulars of Mr Hazim, such as his physical address, telephone numbers, business address, and other personal details, such as his passport number.

“Having bought 20 buffaloes, Mr Hazim Mustafa has not collected these buffaloes for the past two and a half years. Instead of keeping the money in the safe until the next banking day, the money is kept concealed in a sofa for well over a month. The theft of the money was not reported to the SAPS and no case number or docket is registered. Information placed before the Panel suggests that more than US$ 580,000 was stolen.

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“Suspects were arrested, interrogated, and cooperated with the investigating team, and yet, no one is charged, prosecuted, and convicted. This occurs amid allegations that the suspects were paid R150,000 each to buy their silence,” read the report.


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