Former Constitutional Court Chief Justice Sandile Ngcoba has been appointed to lead an independent panel to review the presidential appointment Cyril Ramaphosa should be impeached.
Speaker of St National Assembly, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, announced on Wednesday evening that Ngcoba, former Gauteng High Court judge Thokozile Masipa and Professor Richard Calland, an associate professor in the Department of Public Law at the University of Cape Town, will review evidence related to the alleged cover-up of Ramaphosa’s farm robbery.
Tokozile Masipa and Oscar Pistorius
Masipa gained national and international attention when she presided over the trial of Oscar Pistorius, who was convicted of murdering the Paralympian.
She found ex Pistorius not guilty of murder – a decision which was overturned by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA).
The trio in the panel will conduct a preliminary assessment of the petition under section 89 of the Constitution.
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Parliamentary Spokesperson Molata Motapa said under the Rules, the Speaker must appoint the panel after giving political parties represented in the Assembly a reasonable opportunity to nominate candidates.
“The rules state that the panel shall consist of three fit and proper, competent, knowledgeable and respected South African citizens, who may include a judge, who collectively possess the requisite legal and other competence and experience to carry out the preliminary assessment of the petition.
“If a judge is to be appointed, the Speaker should do so in consultation with the Chief Justice,” Motapa said.
The beginning of the investigation
The commission, which will have thirty days to investigate the robbery and report to Nkakula, is following a petition by African Transformation Movement (ATM) leader Vuyolwetu Zungula, who claims Ramaphosa committed misconduct over what happened at his Phala Phala farm in in 2020.
Nkakula said the panel will begin its work on a date to be determined after the administrative processes are completed.
Phala Phala Robbery
Ramaphosa, who is an avid and well-known game collector and breeder of exotic African wildlife, is facing increasing pressure to speak out about an alleged cover-up of a robbery that took place at his private Phala Phala wildlife farm in 2020.
In June, former head of the State Security Agency – and known supporter of ex-president Jacob Zuma – Arthur Fraser dropped a bombshell when he laid criminal charges against Ramaphosa.
According to Fraser’s 48-page affidavit, a domestic worker working for the president at his farm discovered an undisclosed amount of US dollars hidden in furniture on the Phala Phala grounds.
Despite angry backlash from MPs, Ramaphosa stood his ground in parliament earlier this month, again refusing to answer specific questions about the robbery.
Ramaphosa said he would allow the investigation to be completed before commenting.
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