Hansard: NA: Unrevised Hansard
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 13 Dec 2022
No summary available.
TUESDAY, 13 DECEMBER 2022
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
Watch Video here: Plenary
Members of National Assembly assembled in Cape Town City Hall at 14:00.
The Speaker took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
The SPEAKER: Order! Order, hon members. Hon members, before proceeding with the debate I would like to thank all hon members for making an effort to be here at such a short notice. This is a second fully physical sitting of the National Assembly following the COVID-19 and the parliamentary fire which destroyed our Chamber. The Secretary will now read the order of the day.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF INDEPENDENT PANEL ESTABLISHED IN ACCORDANCE WITH RULE 129A-Q TO CONDUCT A PRELIMINARY ENQUIRY RELATING TO A MOTION PROPOSING AN ENQUIRY IN TERMS OF SECTION
89 OF CONSTITUTION, 1996
The SPEAKER: Hon members, on 22 November 2018 the House adopted Rules to provide for procedures to give effect to section 89 of the Constitution. The report of the Independent Panel established in terms of these Rules is now before the House, and after the debate, in terms of Rule 129(1)(3) the House must resolve to proceed or not to proceed with an inquiry by an impeachment committee of the Assembly. [Interjections.] Point of order?
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Hon Speaker, I am rising on a point of order: Despite our repeated request as different political parties that today’s voting on the section 89 panel report be conducted through a secret ballot, yesterday you opportunistically responded to us without giving us a chance to even subject that to review. It is objectively and conclusively reactionary and suppressive of the democratic process and rights of Members of Parliament to say that they must vote on an open ballot on a very sensitive issue when they have threats from their own political parties. The Constitutional Court has said that we have an obligation as Members of Parliament not to represent our parties but to represent the people of South Africa without fear or any form of intimidation. [Applause.]
Now we are here in a situation which should decisively hold a president accountable, and you have denied us of utilising a secret ballot which in this basis is the only rational way to could conduct this particular process. There is no other way to could hold a president accountable because these Members of Parliament ...
The SPEAKER: Hon member ... [Interjections.]
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: ... majority of them are willing ... [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: ... thank you. [Interjections.]
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: ... to then exercise their democratic right, but you have denied us that particular opportunity. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: I understand the issue you are raising. Thank you. Take your seat. [Interjections.]
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: It is irrational what you have done. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Order! Take your seat. Thank you. May you please take your seat? Hon member, we are now at a point where the report is being tabled and there will be a debate and maybe what you want to raise you can raise it at that point. [Interjections.] We are not at a point ... [Interjections.]
... Hon member, we are not at a point where we are voting or not for the report. We are not at that point. Hon Dr Ndlozi
... ndiphantse ndakuphendula ngesiXhosa esibi.
... and I had to hold back. We haven’t seen you in Parliament and the first time we see you, you are hackling. [Interjections.] Yes, hon Dlakude?
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY: Thank you very much, hon Speaker. Hon Speaker, I just want to remind all of us sitting here, especially the Chief Whips of all political parties, we had a special National Assembly Programme Committee, NAPC, meeting where this matter was discussed. So, today we are dealing with a report. According to the Rules the report only needs 134 members plus 1 to approve it. We then
agreed, in that special NAPC meeting, on the method of voting that we are going to use today. So, we cannot have people with after thoughts to come and try derail the proceedings of this House. The method of voting was agreed ... [Inaudible.]
The SPEAKER: [Inaudible.] ... do that. We have a long day actually. Don’t do that. Hon Malema?
Mr J S MALEMA: Speaker, I would like you to call hon Dorries to order because you know, sitting there, that you cannot cite a Rule she was standing on. She was not standing under any Rule, and don’t do that when you are presiding over Parliament. So, what she said was out of order, and please rule her out of order, please. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Hon members, please, I can hardly hear. Please, hon members. Okay, hon member, I see your hand at the back but I will not allow you to speak for now. Allow me, hon members, to make this ruling.
Hon members, the Speaker is empowered to exercise her discretion in determining the voting method to be employed to decide questions before the House where no voting method is prescribed in the Rules of the Assembly. In deciding whether to have an open or secret ballot on a vote, the Speaker must be guided by the constitutional requirement to enable effective accountability while simultaneously maintain transparency and openness. For the Speaker to deviate from the principle of openness it must be established that an open ballot is not likely to ensure effective accountability and that circumstances exist that would most likely prevent a free expression of the will of the Members of the National Assembly.
Hon members, I have considered the request for a vote by secret ballot and have communicated my decision and the reasons for my decision in this regard. It is sufficient ... Please lower your hand until I finish. It is sufficient to reiterate that a parliamentary environment is always a highly politicised space and can never be entirely free of political tensions, either between or even within parties. I do not believe that the atmosphere is so toxified or so highly charged that Members of the Assembly would be prevented from exercising their vote on this question in accordance with their conscience using an open voting procedure. This is borne out by the various views that have been freely and publicly expressed over the last days.
I further wish to reiterate that an open and transparent procedure followed by the Assembly to exercise this important decision on the section 89 Independent Panel report can only bring about public trust and confidence in the National Assembly and our democratic dispensation. I therefore stand by my decision to decline the request for a vote by secret ballot. [Applause.]
The SPEAKER: Hon members, please I can hardly hear. Hon member
... Okay hon members, I see you and the hand but I will not allow you to speak at the back. I won’t allow you for now to speak. Allow me hon members to make this ruling. Hon members, the Speaker is empowered to exercise her discretion in determining the voting methods to be employed, to decide questions before the House where no voting method is described in the Rules of the Assembly.
In deciding whether to have an open a secret ballot on the vote, the Speaker must be guided by the constitutional requirement to enable effective accountability while simultaneously maintaining transparency and openness. For the Speaker to deviate from the principle of openness, it must be established that an open ballot is not likely to ensure effective accountability and that, circumstances exist that will most likely prevent a free expression of the will of the Members of the National Assembly.
Hon members, I have considered the request for a vote by secret ballot, and have communicated my decision and the reasons for my decision in this regard. It is sufficient ... Please lower your hand until I finish. It is sufficient to reiterate that a parliamentary environment is always a highly politicised space, and can never be entirely free of political tensions either between or even within parties.
I do not believe that the atmosphere is so toxified or so highly charged hearings that members of the Assembly would be prevented from exercising their vote on this question, in accordance with your conscience using an open voting procedure. This is borne out by the various views that have been freely and publicly expressed over the last days.
I further wish to reiterate that an open and transparent procedure, followed by the Assembly to exercise this important decision on the Section 89 Independent Panel Report can only bring about public trust and confidence in the National Assembly and our democratic dispensation. I therefore stand by my decision to decline the request for a vote by secret. [Applause] Order hon members! Yes, hon Shivambu.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: We want to stand and reject that decision and we want to express that through a vote that, can we be allowed to vote on whether we can use a secret ballot or not. We are firmly proposing that, before we proceed with this process, we should be allowed to vote on your decision because it is an issue that we have to deal with in a particular fashion, please.
The SPEAKER: There is a point of order, hon Shivambu. There is a point of order. Yes, hon member, you have the floor.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: We are proposing division of the House on that question.
The SPEAKER: Please take your seat. I have noted and you have made your point.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: And the division must be secret as well.
The SPEAKER: Please, take your seat hon member. Hon member, please! Hon member! Hon member behind the microphone here, behind the podium, yes you may have the floor.
Mr B M HADEBE: Thank you Speaker, it is hon Bheki Hadebe. Rule
8 (3) and (2) read in conjunction with Rule 92 (11), the Speaker can make rulings and all members are obliged to comply with the rulings. The ruling of the Speaker cannot be questioned, challenged or questioned in this House. Thank you.
Mr V ZUNGULA: Speaker!
The SPEAKER: I thank you hon member.
Mr V ZUNGULA: Speaker!
The SPEAKER: Hold on hon members.
Mr V ZUNGULA: Speaker!
USOMLOMO: Hayi maan, khawume.
Mr V ZUNGULA: I have been raising my hand.
The SPEAKER: Yima (wait) I have not given you ... I have seen you. I have noted you. Take a seat! Sit down! Take a seat. Hon Zungula, take your seat.
Mr V ZUNGULA: Don’t shout. Don’t shout.
The SPEAKER: Take you seat; I will give you an opportunity. Take your seat! Take your seat!
Mr V ZUNGULA: Do not shout.
The SPEAKER: Take your seat!
Mr V ZUNGULA: Do not shout. Do not shout. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Hon members! Hon Malema! Hon ... shouting actually hon Malema. You are, you are. [Interjections] You know what, I am not going to allow you to disrupt this session. I will not, you can rest assured. Hon Zungula, you will recall that, earlier on I did say that I noted your hand. You may now take the floor. Thank you.
Mr J S MALEMA: Speaker!
The SPEAKER: Hon Malema, please provide leadership. You shouted first.
Hlala phantsi, thula, thula.
Take the floor hon Zungula.
The SPEAKER: Hon members, order. Order! Just as a reminder, I have received ... No, you can’t make reference to somebody being a liar here now. Hon members, in all the letters which I have received from political parties who were appealing the decision of the National Assembly Programme Committee, NAPC, none of this information was contained in that report. [Interjections.] Yes, correct. Now I am saying, hon members, thank you.
Hon members, I am informed by Mr Xaso that this morning there was a case which was reported to the police. [Interjections.] Hon members, please lets us not be rowdy just listen. Allow me to finish.
I have made a determination on the basis of your own submissions. I have also made a determination on the basis of the National Assembly Programme Committee meeting, which we held last week. And I did apply my mind to that and I took a decision based on the submissions but also based on the decision of the NAPC.
Now the police I am informed by Mr Xaso are currently investigating that matter. So, that matter right now is not a subject for discussion. What we are discussing is the report before us, hon members. That is what we assist with right now. It is the report before us. Hon Radebe, did I recognised you? [Interjections.] Okay. Yes, hon Mente.
Ms N V MENTE: Speaker, when we wrote to you this development was not there and you are correct, you responded to us on the basis of the facts we put before you. Immediately after we have received your response there was this development. Now, we are going to suggest that let’s take five minutes, go and apply your mind and come back with a new ruling. People are going to die and you are going to have blood in your hands because when they vote against what the Minister of Mineral Resources threatened about they are going to be killed and their blood is going to be in your hands.
The SPEAKER: Hon members, order. Order, hon Ntlangwini, please. Hon members, you have made reference to a statement made by the hon Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy. I do not want to talk to a matter which has nothing to do with me. However, hon members, I do not recall that in the statement there was a death threat to anyone. Can we correct that. There were no death threats directed at any one of you and us by the Chairperson. There might be other things which he said but I do not recall reading or hearing that the Chairperson has threatened people with death. I do not recall that. [Interjections.] That man you were referring to. Hon Zungula?
Mr V ZUNGULA: Speaker?
The SPEAKER: Yes, hon Zungula.
Mr V ZUNGULA: When you responded to our letters, Speaker, you never dealt with the issue of the National Chairperson who was threatening Members of Parliament. In all of your letters and responses that has not been addressed. That is a first thing.
The second thing, Speaker, is that last night Members of Parliament received death threats via SMS stating should they vote in favour of the report their days are numbered. That is
last night. Now I want to come to you again, Speaker, and say I agree with a submission by hon Mente. If you want to take five minutes to apply your mind again, please do so but your decision that the voting method today will be via an open method that decision is irrational. That decision, Speaker, does not take into account the circumstances that we find ourselves in where members are threatened on their lives. They are threatened on their livelihoods. So, please apply your mind once again. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION: Hon
Speaker, I rise in terms of the Rules both with respect to how we should address hon members of the House. You allowed, hon Speaker, members to refer to hon Dlakude as Doris, which is unparliamentary in terms of the Rules.
Secondly, you have allowed that aspersions should be cast or can be cast against the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy. As far as I am aware there is no Chairperson of the ANC in this House. There is hon Mantashe who is an elected Member of Parliament. And I would ask, Speaker, that given the spurious points of order by people who are afraid that their phantom 42 would be proven to be phantom they are now merely misleading the House and delaying a debate they know they have
lost. I therefore, request you to allow the House to proceed, hon Speaker.
The SPEAKER: I thank you, hon member. Hon members ... Yes, hon Radebe?
Mr B A RADEBE: Hon Speaker, I am also rising on the point of of order of Rule 85. There are aspersions that were cast on the Minister of this House, hon Mantashe. I think whatever was raised against him, it can only be made through the substantive motion. So, I think that there must be a ruling around that.
Secondly, Chair, hon Zungula is not a shop steward of the ANC. He cannot come and tell us how we run our organisation. The ANC has got its own system of dealing with these things. So, a leader of a two-member party cannot tell a gigantic organisation like the ANC how it should run its affairs. So, you must get off. We must deal with this report. Thank you, Chair.
Mr P M P MODISE: Hon Speaker ...
The SPEAKER: Hon members, please order, order.
Mr P M P MODISE: Hon Speaker, I rise on Rule 92(3) that says, when a member rises to address the House, must mention the point in terms of the Rules of the NA upon which he rises.
Now, there is a request from my far right that some self- appointed shop stewards have been making reflections on the discussions that we had earlier on as the movement called the ANC. It is incorrect for people to speak on our behalf. It is wrong to suggest that we have been threatened and they are not bringing that as a substantive motion as hon Radebe said. So, let us not be subjected to political gymnastics and people who are dreaming about some discussions that are afraid to undertake. Thank you very much.
The SPEAKER: Hon members, I am now ruling on this matter and the ruling is that: I have allowed you adequate time to raise, at times, spurious points of order and I will not allow for a continuation of that now. I now rule that we proceed with the debate on the report, hon members.
UMBHEXESHI OYINTLOKO WEQELA ELILAWULAYO: Somlomo
ohloniphekileyo, Sekela Mongameli, amalungu onke ombutho akhoyo apha namaLungu ePalamente, namhlanje amehlo isizwe sithe ntsho amehlo kule ngxoxo-mpikiswano ngomcimbi obaluleke
kakhulu kwimbali yeNdlu yoWiso-mthetho yeSizwe nakwisizwe soMzantsi Afrika ngokubanzi. Apha siphawula ngengxelo eyenziwe ligqiza elizimeleyo leenkcuba-buchopho zomthetho malunga nebholo lokubiwa kwemali kwifama kaMongameli ohloniphekileyo uCyril Matamela Ramaphosa.
Kokokuqala, ezimbalini zale Ndlu ukuba sixoxe ngokususa uMongameli esihlalweni sakhe phantsi kwemigaqo yale Ndlu esekelezelwe kwisolotya lama-89. Ke ngoko, esikwenzayo namhlanje kuya kuma nje ngomzekelo kwiziphakamiso ezizayo ezi lolu hlobo. Kakade ke, eli nyathelo lale mibutho ephikisayo libangele ukuba sibe kule ndawo, alikho msulwa. Liqhinga loQhimgqoshe abasoloko bezungula ichele.
Iqela eliqulunqe esi sicelo kuSomlomo lasekwa ngabo bangqondo- bugqwirha ukuze liphakamise kule Palamente izindululo zokungamthembi uMongameli kwaye licela uMongameli ukuba ehle esikhundleni. Kudala ke bezama kumatyeli aliqelana ukuzisa isiphakamiso sokungamthembi uMongameli bekhokelwa ngumbutho omalungu mabini we-ATM. Umhlekazi uZungula oko ezungula ichele mhla wangena kule Palamente ngowama- 2019 kuba kaloku wayesekelwe lo nto. Ngoku sikuma-2022 oko wazungula ichele.
Singumbutho wesizwe i-ANC, sithe sahlala phantsi sanika ingqalelo uMgaqo-siseko. Siye sandula ukufunda iMigaqo yeNdlu yoWiso-mthetho yeSizwe. Le ngxelo ayibopheleli ngokwe nkqubo- mgaqo yale Ndlu. Somlomo ohloniphekileyo, nantoni na esiyenzayo kule Ndlu kufuneka ibe semthethweni kuba sithi abaqulunqi bomthetho. Asikwazi ukukekela sixele uNonkala, sihambe ngokwemfuno zamaqela aphikisayo kuba wona efuna isiphumo esithile. Kudala sibacenga oogxa bethu ukuba mabaye ebantwini bayokucela iivoti ezaneleyo ukuze baphathe ilizwe.
Ngokuqinisekileyo, le nkqubo sikuyo ekugqibeleni iza kugqitywa ngezopolitiko, ukutsho oko ngevoti. Nangona kunjalo, asikwazi ukwenza ubuxelegu bokutyeshela umthetho kuba sinenjongo ezithile zezopolitiko esinqwenela ukuziphumeza. Eli gqiza ngokwalo liyavuma ukuba ixesha belincinane kakhulu ...
The SPEAKER: I am sorry, hon Chief Whip of the Majority Party, there is a point of order from hon Kwankwa.
Mr N L S KWANKWA: Hon Speaker, on a point of order: I rise on a point of order of unparliamentary language.
Uthe uMbhexeshi oyiNtloko weQela eliLawulayo sineengqondo zamagqwirha. Ngoko ke uthi siyathakatha. Sicela ayirhoxise loo nto, asithakathi. Enkosi.
The SPEAKER: Okay, thank you. Hon Chief Whip, will you please withdraw that?
Awekho amagqwirha apha.
Withdraw hon Chief Whip.
UMBHEXESHI OYINTLOKO WEQELA ELILAWULAYO: Hayi ndiza kurhoxisa nangona ibingatsho ukuba bangamagqwirha ntonje isithi ngqondo bugqwirhwa kodwa ke xa usitsho Somlomo, ngokuzithoba, ndiyarhoxisa.
The SPEAKER: Thank you.
UMBHEXESHI OYINTLOKO WEQELA ELILAWULAYO: Igqiza ebeliphanda
likhokelwa nguJustice Sandile Ngcobo libhale ingxelo yalo likhokhelwa bubungqina obubekwe phambi kwalo. Eli solotya kwingxelo lihlwayela imbewu yentandabuzo kwabaninzi abaye bayifunda le ngxelo. Baninzi ompondo-zihlanjiwe kwezomthetho abathe besakuyifunda bakhwela bezehlela kwiGqiza eliZimeleyo. Thina kwi-ANC siyayihlonipha indima ethathwe leli gqiza kwaye asisayi kuhlasela nakanye. Sithi bawenzile umsebenzi. Ithi loo nto, thina bantu balapha kule Ndlu yoWiso-mthetho kufuneka sibuyele emva silungise imigaqo yethu kuba yenze abakwazi ukusebenza ngokugqibeleleyo.
Somlomo ohloniphekileyo, neNdlu yoWiso-mthetho, iGqiza eliZimeleyo alikwazanga ukufikelela kwinqontsonqa yobungqina bokuchaza ukuba uMongameli waphule mthetho mni kusini na.
Lithi iGqiza libotshwe izandla lisolotya le-129. Kodwa amaqela aphikisayo athi masiqhubeke – thoba umoya sisi – siye kuzingela ubungqina ngethemba lokuba bungavela ngenye imini.
Thina singumbutho wesizwe sithi, kungxanyelwe phi na nto zakuthi? Sitsho kuba amaziko asibhozo karhulumente ayaphanda. Masivumele la maziko aphande aqoshelise. Masiyeke kuphande amapolisa, kuphande iBhanki enguVimba yaseMzantsi Afrika, kuphande iGunya-Bantu lezoTshutshiso leSizwe, NPA; i-Ofisi
yoMkhuseli woLuntu njalo njalo. Masibalinde, baphande baqoshelise hleze emva kokuba beqoshelisile, singabuya size apha kule Ndlu sizokuthetha nto yimbi. Okwangoku, asinazo iinkcukacha ezaneleyo.
Isizathu kukuba amasolotya kwimigaqo yePalamente anike eli Gqiza ixesha elincinci kwaye namandla amancinci okuphanda nzulu. Igqiza ngokwalo likhalile kwingxelo yalo ngokungabi namandla okuvavanya ubungqina obubekwe phambi kwalo, nokungabi namandla okuva ubungqina obuvela
Silithathela ingqalelo inyathelo likaMongameli lokusa ingxelo yeGqiza eliZimeleyo kwiNkundla noMgaqo-Siseko ukuba iyokuphononongwa kodwa asibanjwanga yiloo nto ukuba asingexoxi. Sithi ingxelo ayigqibelelekanga, umbutho wesizwe
i-ANC ayiyixhasi le ngxelo kude kubekho ubungqina obubambekayo bokuba kutheni kufuneka siyivotele. Nokuba ingabuya kunyaka ozayo okanye ngomso, ukuba ingabuya inento ebembekayo, siza kuxoxa loo nto ikhoyo. Okwangoku ayinasihlahla le ngxelo ikhoyo. Masivumele kuqhutywe.
Iba ngumnqa into yokuba bonke abantu bafuna ukuthethela i-ANC namalungu ayo angajoyinanga eminye imibutho. I-ANC mayinikwe indawo yayo ukuze ixoxe namalungu ayo isebenze njengamalungu
enu avota ngolu hlobo nifuna ukuba avote ngalo. Yekani ukufuna ivoti esekhusini niyifunela i-ANC. Ulawulo alutsalwa ngomsila okanye kungenwe ngesango langasemva. Ubheka pha, ebantwini, ujongane neevoti. Sithi ke, okwa ngoku asiyixhasi le ngxelo siyi-ANC, makuze obunye ubungqina esiza kuthi sikwazi ukubuxhasa. Mandibulele kakhulu, Somlomo. [Kwaqhwatywa.]
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Mr President, eleven days ago, you were ready to quit, your mind was made up, the speech was written and you had resigned yourself to resign. This was not some noble sacrifice to your country. No, you were going to resign from office because the alternative was unthinkable to you and potentially fatal to your party.
The alternative would mean answering questions before a committee of Parliament about the large stockpile of money that you had hidden away in your farmhouse. Money that you claim was nothing other than a Christmas Day buffalo shopping combined with some lacks admin and poor bookkeeping.
But let me assure you Mr President, not many people in this House and even fewer people out there believe that you have been truthful about the origin of the money, why it has been two months hidden in your couch, what you had intended to do
with it or why your tried for two years to cover up evidence that it ever even existed. Those questions all remained unanswered. It was a prospect of having to answer to them under oath that convinced you to write your resignation speech.
That is how damaging the Phala Phala truth is to you personally and clearly to your party as well. It was only when your ANC comrades reminded you about how the ANC normally deals with these inconveniences, how easily the ANC is willing to abuse its majority in this House to crush any notion of accountability that you then decided to cancel your resignation. Satisfied that the protection of your caucus would simply make the questions go away, you then decided to step back into the ring.
Of course, we have been here before and not so long ago. We all sat in this House debate after debate, vote after vote and watched the ANC majority shield Jacob Zuma from a half a dozen motions of no confidence and one impeachment vote.
We had to watch an embarrassment, shameless Members of Parliament all nodded in agreement with the ridiculous fire pool video. Our parliament became the world’s laughing stock
as 250 greening and hackling ANC Members of Parliament reduced this once August House into a mindless defender of the indefensible.
When Judge Zondo wrote his final report State Capture, never again we were told in the wake of the Zondo Report, never again would Parliament be declawed and disempowered as it was in those dark days. Not under this President who rode into town majestically with a promise of a new and pledged to do things differently and yet here we are again.
Then, it was Nkandla and now it is Phala Phala. Then, it was fire pools and cattle crawls and now it is couches stuffed with dollars, then, it was former President Jacob Zuma and now it is President Cyril Ramaphosa but it is exactly the same modus operandi. As long as you have the numbers in Parliament, you can make any scandal go away. If that is how you intend to vote today, in one unified shield against accountability and oversight, just like you did in the Zuma days, then shame on you!
President Ramaphosa, if that is what you expect and demand from your caucus after what everything we have been through in
the wake of State Capture and the Zondo Report then you Sir, are no different to your predecessor.
I ask that every member thinks carefully what today’s vote means. We are not voting to find the President innocent or guilty, we are not weighing evidence to reach verdict, that will only happen later. Today is about letting due process take its cause.
It is about acknowledging as the authors of the report did that there are big questions that remain unanswered and that it can only be solved by an inquiry undertaken by this House. And that is the test before us today. Have we learned anything from the past or are we prepared to once again break our Parliament and in defence of a leader who does not want to be accountable?
Our country cannot afford the turmoil that will come with the President fighting for his political life and his skin. We do not have the luxury of time and we are in trouble. We have electricity crisis, we have crime crisis with our citizens under daily attack, we have an unemployment crisis where 43% of our citizens most of them under the age of 30 cannot find a job. For 60 million South Africans, these crises are real and
we need the President with both hands on the wheel, both eyes on the road and a head in the game.
So, hon members, you do have a choice today and the world is watching your decision. So, I ask every member in the House today, remember your oath of office, remember who you are meant to serve and then vote in favour of adopting this report. Thank you.
Mr J S MALEMA: Thank you Speaker. Mr President, we must begin by expressing our deepest disappointment in you as an individual who has been celebrated as one of the architects of the Constitution of South Africa.
On 10 December 1996, you sat head and shoulder President Nelson Mandela and committed this country and yourself to abiding by the rule of law and to protect and defend the Constitution that President Mandela signed on that day. You vowed in front of the world that you will hold sacrosanct the ideals of accountability and transparency which is enshrined in the Constitution without fail.
Today, 26 years after you held Nelson Mandela’s hand, lifted our Constitution high in the air, you stand as the greatest
enemy of constitutionalism and accountability. As a so called architect of the Constitution, you have resolved to taking Parliament of South Africa to court to avoid constitutional obligation of accountability.
As a so called crafter of our democratic dispensation, you are accused of engaging in activities that characterised a criminal underworld. As a so called champion of accountability to the masses of our people, you today avoid scrutiny and questioning like a fugitive.
Mr President, your reluctance to allowing inquiry into the activities of the Phala Phala farm are shocking and concerning. You are so desperate to avoid any type of investigation into the crimes that have occurred at and in relation to your Phala Phala farm that you have decided to spit in the face of the freedoms and institutions that so many fought and died for.
It is concerning because it means worse has happened in the farm that you do not want people of South Africa to know about. Instead of using the process of the impeachment inquiry to clear your name, you have mobilised your party to fight
against an attempt to discover the truth of what happened in Phala Phala farm.
Mr President, you stand accused of theft from people of South Africa, you stand accused of violating your oath of office and the Constitution. You have stashed money in mattresses and allegedly avoided paying taxes. It is now an accepted fact that you did not declare millions of foreign currency kept in your couches to the South African Reserve Bank.
It is now an undeniable fact that you have engaged in paid work while occupying the Office of the President of South Africa. It is an undenied fact that your answers regarding Phala Phala farm are unreliable because they change depending on the audience you speak to.
It has become clear that you have no intention of taking responsibility for the crimes of Phala Phala farm because every opportunity you get you blame vulnerable staff members of the crimes, staff members who can only operate under your instructions. If you are not blaming staff, you are compromising the investigative institutions and casting aspersions on those who make damning findings.
You have degenerated and you are clinging to power under the instruction of a faction that is desperate to control the leavers of state power at the expense of the people of this country.
Mr President, I want to remind you that I warned you, I warned you of surrounding yourself with these men and women who will ill advise you in the interest of their stomach. I warned you that you should not allow factionalism to dictate the decision you take when it comes to South Africa. I warned you that the Ruperts and the Oppenheimers will not be there to defend you when we ask you to account for the decisions you implement on their behalf. I warned you of how patronising factions can be because they will never tell you the truth. Now you have decided to take your very own Parliament to court because you have allowed factions to guide your decision making instead of your integrity and conscience.
You have engaged in questionable activities such as alleged money laundering, the abduction of suspects of crime, the misuse of state resources because the Ruperts and the Oppenheirmers made you feel like you are untouchable. Today we are touching you because we are not in the pockets of your
faction or handlers, we are touching you because we knew that white monopoly capital will use you and toss you aside.
Mr President, you should be ashamed that you have become the enemy of what so long defined your legacy. Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, we declare without fear of contradiction that you are an enemy of the Constitution of South Africa. From today, you will be treated like a real constitutional delinquent. No amount of numbers can intimidate us into silence. We have done this before and we will do it again.
What if the President of South Africa is a spy? What if the spy is paid in foreign currencies Why are the members of the ruling party not concerned to want to find the truth if their President is not in the pockets of foreign agents? What have you become so much that you are scared to hold one individual accountable in defence of our Constitution?
As we sit here today, you have an opportunity to choose an individual over the Constitution of South Africa, to choose thuggerism over accountability but all of you must know that history will judge you harshly.
It is this man who held Nelson Mandela’s hand and said South Africa’s Constitution is above all of us. Today, it is the same man who is peeing on the Constitution of South Africa. Thank you.
Mr B A RADEBE: Hon Speaker, I am rising on Rule 84. The member who was on the platform spoke unparliamentary language concerning the President in particular when he said it is something to the Constitution. I cannot repeat it myself. He said he did something to the Constitution. I cannot repeat it myself. Thank you.
The SPEAKER: Hon members, please allow me to caution you on your language as you debate. Hon members, I repeat, I request you to mind your language as we debate.
Inkosi E M BUTHELEZI: Hon Speaker, on 15 February 2018, our newly appointed President stood before us and declared that a wonderful new dawn had arrived. He instructed and I quote:
We should put behind us the era of diminishing trust to the public institutions and weakened confidence in our country’s leaders. We should put behind us negativity that has dogged our country because the new dawn is upon us.
He was clear that this new dawn was a shift away what is soon and I quote, “The nine wasted years under his predecessor.” The shift away from corruption, abuse of power, unethical leadership and deception.
So, as the new broke of the Phala Phala theft broke, there was only one word to describe South Africa’s response and that was disappointment. They really wanted to believe in the new dawn. Some clung to the hope that the President has done nothing wrong. Thus the second way of disappointment was all over our country, two weeks ago as the Report of Section 89 of the Panel found that the President indeed has a case to answer.
The IFP has considered the report of the independent panel and we believe that it could not have come to any other conclusion based on the information before it. We therefore support the recommendations of this report, as the IFP. We wish to thank the former Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo as an independent
elect for performing a very difficult task objectively and giving due care to our country.
These three members in the panel was established through the Parliament to determine whether there was prima facie evidence that the President indeed have a case to answer. Thus Parliament should set in motion the process of an impeachment committee. Regardless of whatever these right causes of action would be defeated by the President’s party, regardless of the outcomes of the next process, something has broken that cannot be fixed. South Africa cannot trust the President anymore.
Worse to this is that this trust was not only to the President, but to his promise of a new dawn of promising honest leadership. Now we are left asking: Is there any among them who is beyond reproach? The temptation is to say better the devil you knew, than the devil you do not. For us President Cyril Ramaphosa was the only hope we had in the ANC. He stood against the factions that proved to impose radical economic transformation at any cost. In fact in the cost of our ailing economy. If the President is not exonerated, we fear what will come next.
Looking at the possible outcome, it is clear that we expect the worst. The IFP has deep concern of our country, it is patently clear that there are no longer leaders in the ANC who we can trust. For what was once a glorious liberation movement, has become a modus of moral corruption.
I note the pain of thein founder of the IFP has, who once served this greatest liberation movement until it abandoned its founding principles. It has placed its calls on the path of a terrible destination. Tragically hon Speaker, that destination has been finished. Whatever becomes of the latest state in the rolling party, we the people of this country have been betrayed. The IFP supports this report. Thank you. [Applause.]
Dr P J GROENEWALD: Hon Speaker, on 9 June, this year, we had a debate on the Phala Phala issue in this House. Yes we did. My advice to the hon President, was to come and take the public to its confidence and give the answers. For the President is on record where he said, “That he did nothing wrong. That he did not break any law.” So, then it is just common sense that if you have nothing to hide, you will come forward and take the people of South Africa in confidence and give answers.
However, again the President decided differently. Now firstly, there is no doubt that in this whole issue, the decision of the President is not in the best interest of South Africa, but only the best interest of himself and the ANC.
In terms of section 83 of the Constitution, it says quite clearly that the President must uphold, defend and respect the Constitution of South Africa.
Now hon Speaker, if the President had respect for the Constitution, he will avail himself to be accountable to the National Assembly.
If you go and check what the Zondo Commission found, it was clearly stated that the President, himself did not take enough steps to ensure accountability.
The former Speaker of Parliament, apologised to the people of South Africa saying that they failed to hold the executive to account.
Now, hon Speaker, if the President respect the Constitution, he will come forward and then answer to this House to ensure accountability.
Now, why do I say is common sense. Yes, you can go to all the courts including the Constitutional Court, but it is a fact that the President himself said that there was foreign money at his farm. Whether it is 580 000 dollars, whether it is a million or whether it is a 100 000, it is irrelevant. The fact is that he admitted an amount in foreign currency.
Now, hon Speaker, it is common sense, to ask then well: Did you comply with the regulations to declare it? It is common sense to ask if you want to say it is a company: Did you pay VAT for instance? It is common sense to ask as to why you had to wait for so long. It is common sense to say well: Why did you stack them in furniture? Those are common sense.
Hon Speaker, what the people of South Africa want is answers to those common sense questions.
Die feit dat die agb President dit nie doen nie, skop hy eintlik die mense van Suid-Afrika in die tande en sê, ek is die President, ek is nie verantwoordbaar aan julle nie, en buitendien is die ANC se belange baie, baie belangriker as die belange van Suid-Afrika. Ons sal wel hierdie verslag aanvaar. Dankie.
Rev K R J MESHOE: Hon Speaker, I stand here on behalf of the ACDP to support the Report of the Section 89 Independent Panel and its recommendations.
On the 9 December 2022, I wrote a letter to the Speaker of the National Assembly, requesting her to review her decision to apply an open voting procedure for today’s crucial consideration of the panel’s report.
On the 11 December, the ACDP’s Deputy President, hon Wayne Thring, again petitioned the Speaker to allow members a secret ballot for this debate. Both requests were declined.
Hon Thring’s petition to the Speaker was made after an article appeared in the Sunday World on 11 December, in which the hon Mantashe was reported to have told ANC MPs to, and I quote, “Toe the line or leave the ANC.”
The ACDP believes this reported threat by the ANC Chairperson, will prevent ANC Members of Parliament, MPs, in particular, from holding the Executive to account, and upholding their oath to, and again, I quote: “perform my functions as a member of the National Assembly to the best of my ability.”
Hon Speaker, it is disappointing that our request for a secret ballot for today’s debate was not granted because evidence suggests that some ANC members support the panel’s report but were strong-armed into voting against their conscience for fear of losing their jobs.
Hon Speaker, even if the ANC bully their members into voting against this report, the matter will not end here.
The ACDP believes that President Ramaphosa, has a case to answer. He is yet to tell this House how millions of dollars came to be at his Phala Phala farm, and why he did not declare them to SA Revenue, Sars, the Reserve Bank and other financial regulatory bodies, as required by law. He must still explain why the theft of that money was not reported to the Police and he must shed some light on who the Sudanese businessman, Mr Mustafa Mohamed Ibrahim Hazim is? Is it true that Mr Hazim carried the sum of the value of US$580,000 in cash to the President’s farm, and if so, was that forex declared at immigration when he entered South Africa?
The ACDP calls on President Ramaphosa to stop being evasive and be honest with the people of South Africa, by answering the many questions we have. We further call on all members of
this House, particularly ANC members, to vote today, for accountability, transparency and according to their conscience without fear or favor. Thank you.
Gen B H HOLOMISA: Hon ANC Speaker [Laughter.] [Interjections.] Deputy President and members ...
The SPEAKER: Hon General ...
Gen B H HOLOMISA: Okay ...
... thetha mama!
The SPEAKER: I’m not an ANC Speaker ...
Mnu B H HOLOMISA: Ingaba awulilo ilungu le-ANC kanti?
The SPEAKER: I am a member, yes, you are right ...
Gen B H HOLOMISA: Alright ...
The SPEAKER: But I am not a Speaker of the ANC ...
Gen B H HOLOMISA: Sharp ...
The SPEAKER: I am your Speaker, by the way. [Interjections.] Order!
Mnu B H HOLOMISA: Buyisa loo mizuzu, kaloku uyityile ngoku.
The UDM supports the section 89 parliamentary inquiry. When the section 89 Independent Panel was given the mandate to look into these allegations we were all on board and we must now let the entire process run its course.
We make this point mindful of the fact that the panel by its nature did not have the capacity to call for witnesses.
The UDM, therefore, believes the four main players in the case: President Ramaphosa, Arthur Fraser, Benjamin Chauke and Hasim Mustapha must be given the opportunity to give their side of the story.
However, let us not forget what is at the crux of this matter. The fact that there was a large amount of foreign currency hidden in President’s furniture and how this cash crossed the country’s borders.
You will recall that the UDM made a submission to the panel detailing how Mr Chauke, an adviser to the President, flew in and out of the country to facilitate the movement of illegal funds.
It is not a sufficient explanation and defence for Hasim Mustapha to purport to have declared US$600 000 to customs, which falls under SA Revenue Services, Sars.
The SA Reserve Bank, SARB, would need to have first duly approved the inflow of that amount of US dollars and require such to have been banked in any SARB licensed forex dealers and agents.
In conclusion, the section 89 panel has found that the President has a case to answer. Let there now be a full inquiry by Parliament, the very institution that elected him to office and to which he is constitutionally accountable.
Sithi, mawubuye uMzantsi Afrika esiwuthandayo emaseleni, mawubuye!
Mnu V ZUNGULA: Mandibulele Somlomo. Bendicinga ukuba uza kundinika ixesha elininzi, kodwa masiqhube.
Speaker, this is a watershed moment in our Parliament. Parliament, today, will either affirm that no one is above the law or some people are above the law.
It would be a travesty of justice if Parliament takes a resolution that the President should not be given an opportunity to clear his name with such serious allegations hanging over his head.
It is only Parliament that is empowered to investigate the constitutional breaches and acts of misconduct of the President.
Parliament cannot be told to wait for the investigations of the Hawks, National Prosecuting Authority, NPA, Reserve Bank
and Sars. The Heads of these institutions are all appointed by the President. It is only Parliament that is not at the mercy of the President as our stay here is dependent on the people who elected us to hold the executive accountable.
The Independent Panel report merely states there may be violations to the Constitution.
The Impeachment Committee may agree with the submissions of the President and the case will be closed, unless, of course, the President has got something to hide.
The only rational resolution Parliament can take is to have the Impeachment Committee so all of the things the President is raising in a wrong forum, which is the Constitutional Court, ConCourt, can be dealt with here in Parliament.
Parliament commissioned a panel of experts. These experts concluded that Parliament may investigate the matter further. How can Parliament reject a report from a panel it mandated to look into the matter?
A rejection of the report means Parliament is violating its constitutional mandate of oversight and accountability.
Parliament can’t shield the President who has elected to take Parliament and Members of Parliament, MPs, to court for doing what the Constitution requires of us.
The President is attempting to escape accountability by prematurely taking a none-binding report to court. Mr Ramaphosa can’t want to be a President yet he is against being held accountable.
The President is actually undermining the judiciary. How does he trust the current justices in the Constitutional Court, yet he is undermining the wisdom of the former Chief Justice Ngcobo?
If the President and supporters believe he’s innocent and has nothing to hide, why is he fighting against a process that would clear his name?
Members who refuse a resolution to establish the Impeachment Committee are actually violating their oath of office, which we swore to be loyal to the Republic.
As members who took an oath to be faithful to the Republic let’s vote to adopt this report and establish the Impeachment Committee.
Okokugqibela, ANC ndiyanisizela niyazi kuba ...
... you are made to defend ...
... into eningayaziyo ...
You know nothing about Phala Phala ...
... akukho kwamali ethe yeza kuni ...
... but you are made to defend ...
... into eningayaziyo.
Vote in support of accountability. Vote in support of oversight. Thank you. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
Mr B N HERRON: Madam Speaker, today the National Assembly finds itself at the crossroads. It’s an opportunity to break away from the culture of impunity that has eroded this House over recent decades and show that Parliament can, indeed, perform its job in holding the executive to account or it could fall again into its old habits.
If Parliament were today to bring an abrupt end to this impeachment process it would fly in the face of everything that this Administration has preached, of renewal and constitutionalism.
South Africa needs leaders who are morally, ethically and legally unimpeachable. No person is above the law and the rules adopted to give effect to section 89 of the Constitution must take their cause.
That being said, Good respects the right to the President to take the Independent Panel’s report on review.
Indeed, we share the President’s reservations that there are various potential legal irregularities in the panel’s work and the report it has produced.
To impeach a sitting President is an extraordinary constitutional act with significant social, political and economic consequences. It requires a flawless legal process, unswayed by populism, opportunism or party factional interest.
It would be unfair and unreasonable to hold a sitting President before an Impeachment Committee while these legal questions remain unanswered. [Interjections.] And this constitutional process would benefit from clear precedent set by the Constitutional Court on the legal questions raised.
The situation is, therefore, a complex one but the solution, Madam Speaker, is simple, Parliament should today resolve, in principle, that the section 89 process must proceed but the commencement of the Impeachment Committee should be deferred, pending the outcome of the President’s review. [Interjections.]
If the President’s review fails, the Impeachment Committee process must proceed. If his review is upheld, the need for an Impeachment Committee falls away.
Based on the report that we have in front of us today it would be wholly irrational of the National Assembly to vote to kill off the impeachment process until such time as it is being set aside by competent court.
Equally, it would be irrational of Parliament to proceed to stage 2 of the section 89 process before finality is reached on the outcomes in stage 1. Good will today move for a resolution that achieves this sensible balance. Two binary options are now the sensible, practical nor potentially unlawful. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Hon Speaker, what we have is the panel report and I think what is not in question is that the President has a case to answer. I don’t think we can actually doubt that. However, we, at the same time, cannot overlook the fact that there’s an application before ConCourt to review the findings of this particular panel. [Interjections.]
I think one of the things we are forgetting here ... and I want to say, particularly to the ANC, whatever happens in your party affects the entire country. The hate that exists in your party is impacting negatively on the entire 60 million people in this country. You are not only destroying yourself but you are destroying this entire nation. [Interjections.] Yes, it’s true that many people want the President out, and for different reasons too, there’s no doubt about it; some for their own selfish reasons, others for his position, others for avoiding prison or orange overalls.
But the fact of the matter is this, that what we have before us is a report and that report must be adopted here today.
What we will not agree with, however, I want to reiterate, is the impeachment process until that review application is finalized before a court of law. [Interjections.]
You cannot accept a report, adopt a report and implement its findings at the same time, in this case, the President is questing the findings in that report.
Let also say this, we repeatedly say everybody is equal before the law. So, let us also treat the President equally. It’s his constitutional right to take the matter on review, whether we
like it or not. And I know it’s not going to satisfy all of us. But unfortunately according to the Constitution that is the right prerogative of the President, in this particular case, to take this on review and that is what he is doing. [Interjections.]
What we believe is happening today, this could have been delayed, pending the outcome of that review. All that is happening today, we are wasting millions of rands and that is where it’s eventually going to go to.
If we adopt this report and insist we want to implement the findings, all that is going to happen, the President will go to court and interdict these proceedings and it will come to a standstill.
So, while we’ll support the adoption of this report, we don’t believe that this process should continue until the review application is finalized before a court of law. I thank you. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Thank you
very much, hon Speaker. We are here to debate the contents of the report and not to character assassinate the individuals
who compiled the report. We will differ with them with respect. The President has exercised his rights to take the report on review. The opposition parties that are criticizing him for going to court, they go to court daily in this Parliament.
On parliamentary matters, the President, like any South African, has a right to exercise his rights. The opposition must also respect that right. Accountability in this House means that we must be able to debate the report. This is the finding of the Nkandla matter. The Economic Freedom Fighters versus the President of the Republic. It did not say that we must not scrutinize the report. The report says that “We must debate, we must engage and decide whether we are adopting or rejecting the report.” And that is what we are doing here as Parliament. We are holding the President accountable through this debate. It is not true that by rejecting the report, we are not holding the President accountable.
The debate itself is that process of accountability and that is the reason it was envisaged in terms of the rules that we will enter reject or adopt. Even the judgment in the Nkandla matter said that “Parliament will then debate consider,
deliberate, reject or accept the report.” That is what we are going to do.
As the ANC, we do not agree with the adoption of the report for the following reasons that I’m going to state. If my colleagues on the left can be patient. I will come with them very slowly. In terms of the rules of Parliament, and in terms of these rules that Parliament has adopted. In terms of Rule 129(g)(b), we can only commence the impeachment process if sufficient evidence exists. Does sufficient evidence exist? In paragraph 80 of the report itself, the panel says it did not have sufficient evidence. There are various institutions that are still to conclude investigations, including, - hon Zungula, the Office of the Public Protector, mandated by the Executive Members’ Ethics Act, to be the only institution to deal with members of the executive issues of their own personal remuneration.
The Public Protector and these other eight institutions have not finalized their investigation. This panel could have said we are going to wait for these findings. If they felt that they don’t have the power, they don’t have the time, like Zondo did, they could have requested Parliament to extend like they did once. Zondo requested many times until we got tired,
but we still respected him because he wanted to produce a quality report. This panel could have also done the same. They did once to the Speaker and they were granted. If they still needed further information, we could not be sitting here doubting the process of the panel, its contents and its outcomes.
And there is one clear demonstrable example in the panel’s report. They cite a News24 report of 06 September 2022, because they were given by hon Zungula and Members of Parliament, which was not responded to. And they said this Mr Hazim does not exist and is not clear how the money came into the country.
On 08 September 2022, News24 published a report confirming the existence of the same person. But the panel says because of the rules, they had to ignore what is in the public domain.
The report of the panel still says they doubt if this person exists. But on 08 of September 2022, before the report was released, News24 confirmed this person exists. And also confirmed that there was this process that was undertaken.
Very recently, Sky News just by scratching the surface confirmed the existence of this person. How do we then adopt
this report that did not conclude to get sufficient evidence to study the process to impeach the sitting President?
The panel’s report has set the bar too low to impeach a sitting President. They compare their report and the process that they undertook with the report of the Public Protector. The panel say in their own words that the Public Protector, the Public Protector’s Report, they contrast the work that was done in paragraph 72. They say with the Public Protector, they were required to get what is prima facie evidence. They say in contrast to this, they are expected to get what is sufficient evidence. But what the panel does, they conclude that no, this thing is the same. Both prima facie and insufficient evidence is the same. It cannot be the same. Sufficient evidence is a higher standard than prima facie. And that’s why even when you go into the Constitution, it speaks about the removal of the Public Protector. Where it speaks about the President it speaks about the impeachment of the President.
The standard is higher on sufficient evidence. The evidence must be there and it must be concrete. There must be no doubt that this evidence is here and is sufficient, to commence with the impeachment process. We do not have that sufficient
evidence. We do not have grounds to proceed with this debate with a process to impeach a sitting President.
Therefore, my friends from the opposition, I have got very bad news for you. We will not support this report because it does not have what the rule says it must do. And I want to ask from the opposition, are you going to agree for your members to vote against the adoption of the report? Can Mr Steenhuisen free your members to vote because we have now convinced them that there is no sufficient evidence to impeach the President.
We now know hon Zungula, free your other members. They must not proceed because there is no sufficient evidence. There is no reason for your members to proceed because there is no sufficient evidence. What is being said and used here is just to blackmail the ANC, that the ANC does not want its members
The ANC has always been a constitutional organization, an organization that respects the Constitution of this country. Like all members of the ANC, we are here debating because of the Constitution. We are here to hold the President to account because of the Constitution. We are here to hold all members
of the executive, ourselves because of the Constitution. We respect it and that’s why we are here.
We are not running away from the debate. If the President wanted to run away from the debate, he would have also interdicted the debate. But the President just took the matter on review to show that he has got grounds, he does not agree with the report. But he does not stop this Parliament from debating. He says this Parliament must continue, it must debate and it must hold the President to account. And that is what we are doing. There is nothing untoward. You cannot blackmail us to agree with you that it will only be accountability if it’s accepted that there must be an impeachment process.
Even if there is no impeachment process, it’s still accountability. Accountability is the work that we are doing here, to scrutinize the report, to scrutinize everything. And we are here saying in fact and in law, the report cannot stand. We do not support the report. Thank you very much.
Mr S M JAFTA: Hon Speaker, in the course of this debate, we will extensively cite the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court dealing with the executive’s accountability. We will support
this motion on principle based on our commitment to protect and promote constitutional democracy. That is our default position, nothing else, hon Chief Whip.
Parliament’s independence must be understood against its broad constitutional rule, which requires it to maintain effective oversight over the executive. This is important because in order to safeguard public resources from abuse and plunder, executive power must independently be checked. This independency is grounded in the Constitution, which requires the Assemble to and I quote:
To represent the people and to ensure government by the people under the Constitution.
When there is an impeachment motion against a sitting President, the Assemble must carry the wishes of the people without fail. Given the office that the President occupies described by the Constitutional Court in the EFF matter, “The highest calling in the land.”
The Assembly members must be able to freely vote on any motion involving the President, hon Speaker. The court went further to say the nation pins its hopes on the President to steer the
country in the right direction, accelerate our journey towards a peaceful, just and prosperous destination.
Hon members, the Constitution is what must guide the President. He took an oath of office to obey his tenure. We were told by the Supreme Court of Appeal in 1999, in the matter of Patricia De Lille versus the Speaker of the National Assembly, that no President, however formidable be his reputation or scholarship can perform any act which is not sanctioned by the Constitution. From a purely Constitutional standard view, the President cannot bypass the Constitution and its limits in the cause of performing his functions.
Hon Speaker, our position on this motion is therefore informed by this rich jurisprudence. Accordingly, evidence must be led and facts sifted through to establish the veracity of the claims made in the panel’s report. I thank you.
Mr W M MADISHA: Speaker, thank you very much. The panel’s mandate was to, and I quote: “To determine whether there is a basis to initiate impeachment proceedings against the President” Now, in its report the panel says that there is no basis. The panel based its conclusion on what it says are loopholes inter alia; One, the absence of both written and
oral evidence; two, that in some instances where there is written information such was not written by members but by other people; three, absence of enough time to collate all information required by the panel to emerge with what one could refer to as nor the empirical evidence.
Now, to quote a few so-called loopholes in paragraph 80, the panel says, and I quote:
We are concerned that we have not been given all the information that is available on Phala Phala Game Farm issue. We believe that the truth of what really happened lies beneath an unanswered question that are foreshadowed by what we are told from the information before us. We neither have the tools nor the power to excavate beneath the information that we have been provided with to uncover the answers to the unanswered questions.
The panel’s conclusion in paragraph 8,3 says, and I quote:
The President rightly criticised the evidence of Mr Fraser statement as hearsay, in particular, the information from undisclosed resources. We are mindful of the dangers of
hearsay and caution to be applied in approaching such evidence.
Now, that is what is there in the report. In other words, the panel rejects the authenticity of all information presented to the panel by Mr Fraser. This means that the uncontested conclusion that the panel only used hearsay ... [Interjections.] ...
The SPEAKER: Order, hon members.
Mr W M MADISHA: There is a problem here.
The SPEAKER: Order!
Mr W M MADISHA: I must say that it is unfortunate that the panel failed to ascertain whether Rule 31 of Members Ethics Act 34(1) of Public Investment Corporation Act, PICA which could have without doubt given the panel the differences between the common law criminal offenses like theft, house breaking versus corruption by the President. The panel failed to respond to that question. The panel depended on the media and I think that has been reported.
I propose that we apply both legal and ethical routes so that we can depend on expertise and independence. The Parliament must make sure that we are able to go there so that, that which we will arrive at is something that can be able to be taken forward. Thank you very much.
Mr M NYHONTSO: Speaker, this matter is cut and dry. Speaker, we are debating recommendations of the independent panel of judges that says in summary that the leader of the ruling party is ... [Inaudible.] ... and irresponsible and that he must be probed even further. We, in the PAC agree that the state President must face investigation into the Phala Phala Game Farm from the shoddy business. It is scandalous. The whole state President being not able to explain himself while he abuses the machinery of the state for his personal gain.
He definitely needs to be probed, we do not have to jump to conclusions. However, the ladder of inference so far makes it difficult to us to avoid looking at the moral scruples of the governing party and its entire leadership. They have certainly lost the honor and gravitas of leading the people. The tsotsi element have long taken up in the government party. The thieves rule the roost. It is even questionable whether they have been in the liberation movement to fight for the
restoration of human dignity and total freedom to a colonised African people.
The Africanists pioneers, the founders of the PAC, saw this coming when they adopted the Freedom Charter in Kliptown. The inference we are able to draw from this is that their unscrupulous leaders only think about their stomachs and meaningless pleasure seeking activities. This probe should not sidetrack us from the collapsing economy and dysfunctional state-owned enterprise under their watch. They face a long indictment list as we go to the voting stations in 2024. That is where the masses of the people will say their saying; Azania deserves better. Thank you.
Mr M G E HENDRICKS: I just want to say that the ANC is Al- Jama-ah light. Chief Albert Luthuli’s 10 political commandments gracefully explained by Dr Pali Lehohla at the recent 16th memorial lecture, reminds the hon members of this House of Parliament’s true course, that is: the liberation of his people; to lead his people with honesty and integrity without any greed for personal gain and any theft; to pave a way for a better life for all; to establish a road map for peace and superlative with the new generation and not to
trample on the graves of those who made the ultimate sacrifice with their lives.
Thus, President Ramaphosa come close to these aspirations. It is where Al-Jama-ah has mixed feelings. The Phala Phala report is merely a preliminary inquiry that has allegations of three or four political parties that has no evidentiary matched up. The panel’s recommendation comes nowhere to a finding that there was a gross violation of the Constitution to merit impeachment. Al-Jama-ah feels that the report must just be noted. The media has created a sensational narrative and it is time for them to sober up.
In 2019 under the basis of one man one vote, the African National Congress, which is now Al-Jamal-ah light, won the right to govern. The ANC gave the right to their branches to look at anyone who see and recommends as the President. The 12 political parties in Parliament are not branches of the African National Congress or shop stewards. The efforts today must certainly be ... [Inaudible.] ... if President Ramaphosa is the nominee of the ANC branches, then certainly, the parliamentary processes are to continue to give the nation closure. The nation must wait for the findings of the National
Prosecuting Authority, the Reserve Bank and others to see that justice is done.
Also, the relegation of duty by the country’s intelligence chief must be firmly dealt with. I told President Ramaphosa when he met the leaders of the political parties when the July insurrection broke that the country is not in safe hands. In the absence of any findings of gross violation of the Constitution by the Constitutional Court and no charges against President Ramaphosa if elected by the branches of the ANC, must continue as Chief Albert Luthuli ... [Inaudible.]
... directed. Let us vote the way Chief Albert Luthuli would have wished, not along party line but in terms of our Oath of Office.
Another question is whether keeping $1,000,000 in the furniture compartment is a gross violation of the Constitution? This was the common course before the panel and they did not find gross violation of the Constitution. An inquiry relating to a motion proposing an inquiry in terms of section 89 of the Constitution is not supported by Al-Jama-ah. Al-Jama-ah ... [Inaudible.] ... the panel for defining the allegations. The report has no other value. Thank you very much. [Time expired.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Speaker, much has been said about this vote today, and much will be said here about why this process despite the fact that it was commissioned by this very House and its members should be ignored. However, not much will be said about what this vote is not about. This vote is not about impeaching the President, this vote is not about the highly contested ANC presidential race, this vote is not about where the political lines are drawn, and who is politically aligned to who.
This vote is about accountability. This vote is about the Constitution that we all sought to uphold, and the commitment that we made to South Africans to be lawmakers who respects the Rules of this House and by extension, the people who sent us here.
It is a vote to complete a process that we collectively embarked on, showcasing that it does not matter whether you are the President of the Country or an ordinary citizen, the laws of this country apply to us all impartially.
It is a vote to afford the President an opportunity to have the truth uncovered. An opportunity an innocent person would grab with both hands. To deliberately make this vote about the
President and not about the principle of fairness and the rule of law is simply dishonest.
It is undoubtable that crimes were committed on the President’s Phala Phala farm and state resources were abused. It is also evident that these did not begin and end with the President and that an entire network of government players and Ministers are possibly implicated, especially judging by Minister Lamola’s very spirited defence of the President this afternoon.
To vote against the recommendations of this Panel is to send a strong message to the people of South Africa that you only have to be politically connected to be insulated from accountability.
This is not the first time a choice like this has been faced by this House. Many of you were here and voted to disregard the Nkandla Ad Hoc report which detailed the abuse of state resources by the former President of the ANC, Jacob Zuma. You did so shamelessly. You did so with no regard of the massive responsibility you have been entrusted with. You did so in spite of the fact that South Africans deserved more from you. You chose party over country, and today you will make the same
choice again. You’ll choose a cover-up over accountability. You’ll once again go down on history as the governing party that broke Parliament.
This is a big moment that will be recorded in history so that years from now, people would read about the disdain with which you treated this House. Those who will vote for what is right and not what is politically expedient today, would be voting to restore the credibility of this House. And one day when your children ask you what you did in big moments of our democracy, may you be courageous enough then to admit that you stood firmly on the wrong side of history. [Applause.]
Mr Q R DYANTYI: Hon Speaker, let me recognize our number two, Deputy President Mabuza, the ANC has been entrusted with the people’s mandate of leading the nation. This is a duty of honour, and we accord the revered commitment to ensure that people’s power realizes the creation of an equitable and just society.
Since the beginning of the Sixth Administration, strengthening state institutions and combating corruption are some of the ANC’s critical priorities to improve the state’s capability to bring about socioeconomic transformation.
Since the release of the preliminary inquiry report by the Independent Panel on the removal of the President, our nation has been confronted with political and economic risk, which have led to uncertainty - just a few factual facts of the journey and the attempts that have been made.
We should recognize that since the beginning of this Sixth Parliament, a motion of no confidence to the President was proposed by the ATM since 2019. It was resuscitated this year, and withdrew it due to the court not agreeing with their position on a secret ballot due to their self-created urgency. The EFF would have repeatedly intended to do the same. The DA has tabled a motion of no confidence on the Cabinet, including the President, which was considered in March 2022, and the House did not support that. The DA went further to sponsor a motion for the establishment of an Ad Hoc Committee on Phala Phala theft, it was also not supported.
Recently, this unprincipled alliance of opposition parties, whose sole objective is to remove the ANC, have also resolved to table a motion of no confidence on the President based on this preliminary report.
So, fellow South Africans, as we speak to you today, as the ANC, we are confronted with an opposition that seeks the ANC’s demise at all cost, by hook or crook, to precipitate the nation to the instability of coalitions that are experienced in major cities. These hypocrites from opposition parties do not consider the stability of the country and the recognition of the people’s will which has given the ANC the mandate to lead the nation. What these unprincipled opposition parties also undermines and does is that they do not have confidence in an impeachment process which requires a two-thirds majority to remove the President. They do so by making a call for the motion of no confidence whilst considering the Independent Panel report, on which Parliament has to decide whether to establish an Impeachment Committee. The opposition parties also tried to subcontract members of the ANC – they want to be their shop stewards, to say you need a secret ballot. In fact, even that secret ballot looks like it depends on the hopes that the ANC would vote for them.
Opposition parties caucus on positions and matters, and so does the ANC. The ANC advance decisions after assessing the balance of evidence. Members of Parliament exercise their rights according to their oaths and constitutional obligations.
A few things from the Panel report: The Independent Panel makes some critical observations in the report: Firstly, the Independent Panel did not know whether the SA Reserve Bank, SARB, had concluded its investigation. If so, they didn’t know the outcome of that investigation; secondly, the Independent Panel recognizes that the Public Protector is conducting an investigation into the matter; thirdly, the SA Police Service, SAPS, are investigating the conduct of the Presidential Protection Services, PPS, and the Panel did not know whether these investigations have since been completed. Other institutions such as the SA Revenue Services, Sars, the Financial Intelligence Centre, FIC, as well as Home Affairs are also investigating; lastly and most significant, the panel was not made aware of progress, if any, that the Hawks have made with regard to their investigations into these allegation by Mr Arthur Fraser against the President.
After all of these, we are asked to support a report that is so full of doubt. The Panel itself is doubtful about its own work. In paragraph 48 of the report, the Panel explains that it is required to consider – as hon Lamola would have indicated – preliminary inquiry relating to a motion, and thereafter make a recommendation whether sufficient evidence
exist to show that the President committed any of the three grounds in the Constitution.
To determine prima facie evidence, consideration is made whether any complainant or applicant furnishes proof of which uncontested or uncontradicted will stand to be accepted as truth and factual. The Panel is uncertain in the report about the substance of the evidence it received from the three parties, the EFF, UDM, ATM and the President. It is not sure whether the President has committed any act that constitute a ground for removal because there is no sufficient evidence – that’s from the Panel.
On the issue of money-laundering, hon Malema ... this opposition argue that there are issues of money-laundering. Money-laundering is regulated by the Prevention of Organized Crime Act, which defines money-laundering in section 4 as:
Any person who knows or ought reasonably to have known that property is or forms part of the proceeds of unlawful activities.
This would be a false and misleading assertion to argue that the President committed money-laundering as the Panel report
also does not know the origin of the money found on the President’s farm. There is no prima facie evidence that the source of the money is the proceeds of unlawful activities. That is why Rule 129(p) concerning recommendations focuses on recommendations not being binding. This means, if the panel recommended an Impeachment Committee, the Assembly reserves the right not to adopt the report or to adopt the report. This is stated in Rule 129(p)(1) that the Assembly will make the final and binding decision relating to any matter dealt with in this Rule. Any recommendations made by the Independent Panel or the Impeachment Committee or any decision by the Speaker in terms of this Rule is not final and binding on the Assembly.
The ANC does not support this report because the Independent Panel itself was not convinced that it had sufficient evidence. Having considered the information before it, which is insufficient, it disclosed that the President may have committed some violations. The position of the ANC is not an arbitrary one, it is a product of consideration of balance of evidence and multiple factors the Independent Panel raised.
The review of the President on the Panel report is also informed by the testing of the basis of the recommendations of
the Panel report. Our disapproval of this report is not to stop accountability by the President. Instead, the President should continue to be accountable to Parliament. The Independent Panel does confirm that they have not tested the validity of the evidence as alleged in the affidavit of Mr Fraser. The Panel also declared detailed limitations imposed on them by the process, yet their conclusions are not congruent or consistent with the information that they had.
An impeachment of the President must be based substantive prima facie evidence. We call upon all South Africans not to be conjured up by the media and opposition hype. It is moments like this that we test our abilities as a nation to navigate these complexities
These hypocrites think that they have a firm grip on the ANC and its life. The Panel report fell short of minimum threshold to lead us into an impeachment. The issue here is the test in the Rules and whether there is sufficient evidence and not prima facie evidence. In other words, the test to be applied is much higher than prima facie evidence, as hon Lamola would have indicated.
No matter how many times you repeat these accusations, they will not stick or become true because of their repetition. It is therefore important that we go back to the drawing boards and fix some of the defects that we have in our Rules. I thank you. [Applause.]
The SPEAKER: I thank you, hon member. Hon members, that concludes the debate on the Independent Panel Report. I will now put the question, are there any objections to the section 89(1) enquiry. Is there a point of order? Hon Herron, yes, you have the floor.
Mr B N HERRON: Madam Speaker, as I indicated we wish to propose an alternate resolution in terms of Rule 121(1) of the Rules of Order. May I represent it?
The SPEAKER: Yes, you may proceed.
Mr B N HERRON: Thank you, Madam Speaker. The alternate recommendations for a resolution that we are proposing that the National Assembly resolves that given that the President has applied to the Constitutional Court to review and set aside the Report of the Independent Panel that the establishment and appointment of an Impeachment Committee is
deferred in terms of Rule 129(K)(2) pending the outcome of the President’s review and two, if the President’s review fails to the extent that any part of the report is upheld which found that the criteria in Rule 129(1)(g)(1)(b) were met then the Impeachment Committee must be established and appointed to comments the section 89(1) enquiry. Thank you.
The SPEAKER: Thank you, hon Herron. Hon members, Rule 123 provides that any motion or every motion requires notice except those Draft Resolutions, specifically exempted by Rule
123 which includes a motion for the postponement or discharge of any Order of the day. And, therefore, hon Herron, essentially, you are moving that the establishment and appointment of the Impeachment Committee should be deferred pending the outcome of the President’s review application at the Constitutional Court. A motion for the postponement or discharge of an Order, right, of the day in terms of Rule 123(1)(c) should have been done right at the beginning of the proceedings. As you did not move this motion prior to us debating the Order, it can only be assumed that your proposal was, in fact, intended not as a postponement motion but an amendment to the question that has now been put. This amendment is equally out of order in terms of Rule 121(i). In
the instance the question before the House is that section 89
... order, order!
In the instance that the question before the House is that section 89 enquiry be proceeded with. Your proposed resolution, however, us for the House to decide on two substantive matters: One, a resolution to postpone the matter and at the same time another resolution to proceed to an enquiry contingent on a future. As yet, uncertain outcome of a process that is outside the ambit of the National Assembly.
The Assembly cannot relinquish its own mandated responsibilities in this manner. I rule hon Herron.
Hon members, we now proceed. Hon members, I proceed. I will now put the question, are there any objections to the section 89(1) enquiry being proceeded with on the basis of the Independent Panel Report and the matter being referred to the Impeachment Committee in terms of Rule 129(1). If there are any objections, I now put the question, those in favour of section 89(1) enquiry being proceeded with and the matter being referred to the Impeachment Committee will say, yes. And those against section 89 enquiry being proceeded with will say no.
Hon MEMBERS: No.
The SPEAKER: Order! I think the “Noes” have it. Hon members, the DA has called for a division and, therefore, we will now proceed with the division and the bells will be rung for 10 minutes
Question put: That section 89(1) enquiry be proceeded with and the matter be referred to the Impeachment Committee.
Mr J S MALEMA: ... that you please allow the secret ballot ... [Interjections.] ... because for sure your staff members would have done some work during the break where the case that has been opened because of threat of life by the underworld, police have also been in contact as we are sitting here with a Member of Parliament who is threatened by these criminals. The second thing is that we have got it on good authority that you yourself has been intimidated because you threatened that there will be a motion of no confidence against you if you allow a secret ballot ... [Interjections.] ... and that on its own is a reason enough for you to reconsider a decision on the secret ballot.
The third issue is that there are Members of Parliament from the ruling party who spoke openly that they are going to vote against the dictatorship of the Minister of Mineral Resources. What does it mean? It means that this vote has a potential of going either directions and because of that, we ought to protect those people because through that intimidation they may not be able to fulfil their constitutional mandate. So, the circumstances that are prevailing now dictate that you provide the secret ballot.
We are confident that there are 60 members on the ruling party who have confirmed that they will vote for this and those members will be intimidated if this vote is not secret.
The SPEAKER: Thank you, hon members. Hon members, we proceed. Just a slight correction. I don’t get intimidated easily. I can assure, I don’t! I am a fighter just like you call yourself a fighter – I am a fighter! I don’t get threatened that easily. So, thank you very much, hon members. Now hon members, the Rules of the national Assembly provides for different procedures for members to cast their votes. This includes voting by electronic means or a manual voting procedure by way of a Whip or by voice. The Rules also stipulate that the Speaker must predetermine the voting
procedures. For this division, I have determined that a manual voting system will be used whereby each member will be called upon and requested to voice his or her voice. [Interjections.] Ima! [Wait!]
I have specifically determined this procedure for this vote as a result of an electronic system not being in operation. In terms of the Rules, all members present – when the question is put to you for those who were indoors and now are in here and the doors are barred and they must vote on record an absent function. This Rule does not apply to a Minister or a Deputy Minister who is not a member of the House. Political parties have been requested to provide lists of members who will be called first when it is their party’s turn to vote. After that party’s list has been called the remaining members of the part will be called alphabetically. The secretary will call each member from the membership list, starting with those from the majority party. Members will be called by their surname followed by their initials.
In order to facilitate this process, I appeal to the hon members to indicate their vote only without a preamble or a statement and without delay. Members must simply indicate “yes”, “no” or “abstain”. In the event where a member’s name
is called and they are present, but for whatever reason do not indicate their vote, an opportunity will be provided for such members to raise their hands until the last member is called from the list, at which point they will be recognised to cast their vote. Order! The question before the House is that the section 89(1) inquiry be proceeded with. Hon member, is it a point of order?
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Speaker, we want to put it on record that we do not agree with the approach that you have taken in terms of this vote. And we are going to subject this process to a judicial review, which will include holding you personally liable for purposefully having taken a wrong decision which is destructive and it is going to undermine the democratic rights of Members of Parliament because there is a huge difference
... [Interjections.] ... the outcomes, if it was a secret ballot was going to be different ...
The SPEAKER: You have made your point.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: ... as opposed to what you are going to be doing now. And we have demonstrated several times, we have done everything humanly possible to illustrate to you that what you are doing is dangerous and is not sustainable and is
impinging on the constitutional rights of members to exercise their right of holding the executive accountable without fear or favour. So, we are going to take you to court and you are not going to win this. We will remind you when you come back that we have defeated you for taking irrational decision.
The SPEAKER: Thank you very much, hon member. I now proceed. In the event ... Ooh, sorry. Hon Kwankwa? And then hon ... Hon members, can I just remind you that when I am dealing with a point of order, no other Member of Parliament should raise his or her hand until such time I have concluded that issue. And I think it’s something which we need to internalize, no matter how impatient we are. Bear with me – allow me to deal with the matter and rule, then you can raise your hand. Hon Kwankwa ...
... nawe wenze loo nto ke ...
Mnu N L S KWANKWA: Hayi mama, uyandityhola ...
The SPEAKER: Yes, as hon Shivambu was on the floor you had your hand flying, please.
Mr N L S KWANKWA: Correct, mama. Because I was waiting for my turn. But thank you very much, Speaker. Look, our proposal and call for a secret ballot is really intended to try and safeguard the integrity of this process.
Andizungathethi ke, ningase niyokuzixhoma futhi. Uyabona ...
... they are drowning me out I can’t even hear myself speak.
The SPEAKER: You know hon member that you are repeating ...
Mnu N L S KWANKWA: Hayi, ndithethela i-UDM ...
... I am not repeating.
Ndiyi-UDM mna, andithetheli elinye iqela.
USOMLOMO: Kodwa ...
... you are repeating exactly what has been discussed.
Mr N L S KWANKWA: I must speak here for the UDM. No, no, no, that’s fine. They were speaking for themselves – their political party.
The SPEAKER: Hon members had an opportunity to raise these matters when we were debating the report.
Mr N L S KWANKWA: No, no! We didn’t debate this secret ballot then, in case you were not listening, mama.
The SPEAKER: I give it to you, thanks.
Mr N L S KWANKWA: We were saying the intention is to safeguard the integrity of this process. And our fear is exactly as corectyl articulated by our colleagues, that now we are allowing a situation where people are going to vote under duress against the report when they should have been given an opportunity by the House to vote and exercise their full independence – that’s the unfortunate part. Lastly Speaker, as I prepare to sit down, I need to make this point.
We are here and have adopted these Rules via the impeachment process because the Constitutional Court said that we need to raise the threshold in terms of how we do the impeachment process and not treat it the same way we treat the vote of no confidence. Now, by accepting an open ballot, we are lowering the bar. We are doing the opposite of what the Constitutional Court said we should do. So, we want to caution you and say that we also do not agree with what you are doing, but you may proceed.
Question put: That the Section 89(1) enquiry be proceeded with, on the basis of the Independent Panel report, and the matter be referred to the Impeachment Committee in terms of Rule 129I(3).
The House divided.
The Speaker announced that she had determined that, in accordance with the Rules, a manual voting procedure would be used and that this would take the form of a roll call vote whereby each member would be requested to voice his or her
vote. Members would be called from the membership list, per party, in alphabetical order.
A quorum being present in terms of Rule 98(1), voting commenced.
[TAKE IN FROM MINUTES.]
Ms T MAHAMBEHLALA: Speaker, it came to my attention that my vote for party line is captured incorrectly. Vote for party line is no. It came to my attention ... [Interjections.] ... that it was recorded as yes. [Applause.] I vote no. Thank you.
The SPEAKER: Thank you, hon member. Order! Hon Gwarube?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Speaker, the process for the guidelines which have been published by the House do not make any provision for Members of this House to change their vote once their vote has been cast. It goes against every single thing that we said about calling a roll-call vote, and it delegitimises this process. This cannot be the case.
The SPEAKER: Thank you, hon Gwarube.
If I may finish. Is there any other member who was not recognised or who did not hear his or her name being called? [Interjections.]
Okay, hon members.
Abanye bathi ... abanye bathi, ...
... I don’t know what that means. Thank you.
Hon members, there is a provision in the Rules ... [Interjections.] [Inaudible.] ... Wait! [Inaudible.]
Hon members, order! In terms of the Rules, the voting procedure is not yet closed. [Interjections.] It is for that reason that I asked whether there is anyone who may have ...
Hayi maam, musa ukuthetha kuthethwa. Uyaphendula, uyathetha kwaye andilazi igama lakho, ngoku ...
... I am unable to say honourable who! It’s you I have been pointing at, actually. And you know who. Don’t do that, hon member!
In any event, hon members, even in the case of electronic voting, whips are usually requested to scrutinise, right? [Interjections.]
Yes, hon members. Yes.
Mr Xaso, can you please help me? My colleagues, the presiding officers, are very far from me, so they can’t help me.
Okay, I recognise your hand. [Interjections.]
Okay, before I recognise you, hon Malema, hon Steenhuisen and hon Radebe, I just want to ... [Interjections.] ... hon members ...
... Nocawe, yima.
Hon members, Rule 117 states that party whips may, at the request of affected members, scrutinise the electronic voting results ... [Interjections.] ... at the Table —
Hold on! [Interjections.] Hold on!
— and, under their signature, make limited corrections, provided the corrections so made do not affect the results of the division. Thank you, hon members. Hon Malema?
Mr J S MALEMA: Hon Speaker, I think we are proceeding on a very wrong footing. I think to call on those who have not voted because they were missed for whatever reason is correct, but to ask for a person to correct a vote is extremely wrong because it’s not electronic voting. You are giving a wrong example. Another example I can give you is that once I have voted and I’ve put a ballot paper in a ballot box, I can’t come back and say I want to correct that which I did. [Applause.] So, I think that what Mahambehlala did should be stopped because it’s not acceptable.
The SPEAKER: Hon member Mahambehlala, please.
Mr J S MALEMA: Oh, Mahambehlala, yes.
The SPEAKER: Please withdraw that one.
Mr J S MALEMA: No, I was not insult ... I made a mistake.
The SPEAKER: No, no, hon member, I take serious exception.
Mr J S MALEMA: No, it’s like you saying to me, Malema. I’m not Malema. I’m Malema.
The SPEAKER: No, no, no, no, no! As a woman, I take serious exception to that kind of mistake.
Mr J S MALEMA: Okay, I withdraw.
The SPEAKER: Yes, thank you.
Mr J S MALEMA: Now, it is wrong to say that a person can correct a vote. It is actually intimidating to say once we have voted ... and then you say to us, are you sure? Don’t you want to correct your vote? In a way you are intimidating Members of Parliament and that is unacceptable. So please, that thing of people correcting their vote must fall off. Then you call on those who were missed by mistake to vote if they
wish to do so and we close the process. There’s no option of correcting a vote.
The SPEAKER: Thank you very much, hon members. Hon Steenhuisen?
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Speaker, I rise in terms of Rule 104 of the Rules of the National Assembly. Rule 104(1) says, where no electronic voting system is in operation, a manual voting system may be used in accordance with the procedure predetermined by the Speaker and directives to be announced by the presiding officer. So, your reliance on a provision that relates to electronic voting falls away. Those guidelines were published. They were agreed upon by all parties and they were given to all of us before we arrived today. These were the rules of the game for today. There’s no provision whatsoever in these guidelines that have been predetermined and approved by all parties for you to make the ruling that you have made.
Unless you can point me to the relevant section in the predetermined guidelines made in terms of Rule 104, then I’m afraid that what you are about to do is ultra vires, it’s not protecting the process and you are not protecting Members of
Parliament from potential intimidation, and I would regard that as unparliamentary. [Applause.]
The SPEAKER: Okay, hon members, may I request that you lower your hands please. Tata Motshekga, please lower your hand. Hon members, may I take the opportunity as the presiding officer
... as the Speaker to correct that which has just happened? I’ve just had a discussion with the secretary of the National Assembly and therefore that provision which we were now including, which is not contained in the Rules which we have adopted, will be done away with.
So, at this point the voting process is closed. Hon members, I am being very deliberate in taking this kind of decision. I am protecting the process. I want to make sure that the work which we have done, which has gone down so well, should not be spoilt by silly mistakes. Thank you.
What is that point of order for? If it relates to what I’ve just closed now, then please don’t address it. I’ve closed it and I’ve closed it on a note that this matter now does not continue. We’ve stopped it. On a serious note, I hope you’re not going to talk to it. You are not reopening it. Okay.
The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS AND DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES: Hon
Speaker, although you have ruled, there is a matter that was raised by the opposition which needs to be corrected. The Table never called for the reopening of voting. You called on people who had not voted. So, it must be recorded that you as the Speaker did not violate any Rules. You called on those who had been excluded. You never called for the reopening ... [Inaudible.]
The SPEAKER: Okay, hon member, thank you very much. Hon members, are there members who are here who have not exercised their right to vote? None. Voting is closed and I’m now waiting for the results. Thank you.
Hon members, please be patient with us. People are still checking just to make sure that we give you the right numbers. I know people are rushing for their flights, but please bear with us. Thank you.
Order, hon members. We have the results. Those who have voted yes are 148, those who have voted no are 214 and there are two abstentions.
Question not agreed to.
Section 89(1) enquiry accordingly not proceeded with and the matter not referred to the Impeachment Committee in terms of Rule 129I(3).
The House adjourned at 17:36.