Parliament protects Ramaphosa just like it protected Zuma

Issued by John Steenhuisen MP – Leader of the Democratic Alliance
09 Jul 2022 in News

Please find attached soundbite by John Steenhuisen MP.

The Speaker of the National Assembly, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula’s refusal to establish an ad-hoc committee in terms of Rule 253 (1)(b), to investigate allegations surrounding the theft of, in excess of USD $4 million from President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala residence in February 2020, is a direct and deliberate move by Parliament to shield the executive, and the President himself, from the accountability required of them in our constitutional democracy.

This act is, quite frankly, a case of history repeating itself if we consider Parliament’s refusal, under the ANC, to establish an ad-hoc committee to investigate the allegations surrounding former President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead which turned out to be disastrously true.

In fact, this act has shown the nation that Parliament and the Speaker, under the ANC, have learned nothing from the nine wasted years in which South Africa lost trillions of rands to corruption, and suffered dramatic developmental and economic regression, while our institutions merely stood by and watched.

Similarly, it shows that the Speaker herself has not heeded the recommendations made in the Zondo Report, nor the questions raised therein, surrounding Parliament’s paralysis when requests for urgent ad-hoc committees and portfolio committees were called for at the time. Judge Raymond Zondo is quoted as saying the following in this respect:

“The truth of the matter, it seems, is the ANC as an organisation was unwilling, before mid-2017, to initiate or to support a parliamentary inquiry or inquiries into allegations concerned. The leadership of the ANC remained committed to support president Zuma and the cadres or deployees, and was unwilling to expose the allegations of malfeasance to transparent public scrutiny”.

Once again Parliament is standing by and watching while our head of state is mired in serious allegations of theft, kidnapping, and the abuse of state resources – allegations which taint the Office of the Presidency and could render President Ramaphosa wholly unfit to hold public office. The ANC is once again repurposing Parliament as a rug under which it sweeps scandal and corruption out of sight of public eye.

The Democratic Alliance will urgently be considering its legal options to challenge the Speaker’s decision, based on Rule 253 (1)(b). The Speaker’s reference to Section 89 of the Constitution is also a convenient copout to try and justify her decision, but one which will not stand.

State Capture and rampant corruption under the ANC and its policy of cadre deployment were aided and abetted by cadres who were deployed to Parliament to neutralise its oversight mechanisms. The DA will not stand by and let another cadre shield any South African, including the President of the Republic himself, from the requisite public scrutiny. Parliament is not an extension of the ANC, and we will make sure that our oversight institutions are never again sidelined to allow for cadres to revel in impunity.