A parliamentary panel has been appointed to decide whether President Cyril Ramaphosa has justification for the robbery at his Phala Phala farm.

After receiving 17 names from various parties, Speaker of the National Assembly Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nkakula on Wednesday announced the formation of an independent commission to be chaired by former Constitutional Court (ConCourt) president Sandile Ngcoba.

Former Gauteng Division High Court judge Thokozile Masipa and University of Cape Town (UCT) Associate Professor Richard Kaland will also sit on the three-man panel.

The panel, which will be given 30 days to complete its work, will decide whether the president will be subject to impeachment proceedings under Section 89 of the Constitution and Rule 129A-Q of the Standing Orders of the National Assembly. .

But who are the people on the panel and do any of them have a history with the president?

Justice Ngcobo


Born in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), in 1953, Ngcoba served as Chief Justice from 2009 to 2011.

He graduated from the University of Zululand in 1975 with a Bachelor of Laws degree with honors in Constitutional Law, Commercial Law and Accountancy.

From 1983 to 1985, Ngcoba studied for a Bachelor of Laws degree before attending Harvard Law School for a year, where he studied for a Master of Laws degree.

While studying at Harvard, Ngcoba focused on constitutional law, labor law, international litigation and international human rights.


After practicing law in Durban from December 1988 to November 1989, Ngcoba again left for the United States (US) where he worked as an attorney (specializing in labor and immigration law) at a law firm in Philadelphia.

After his return to the Republic of South Africa in the early 1990s, he lectured part-time while practicing law before becoming a judge of the High Court (Cape of Good Hope Provincial Division) in 1996.

From January to December 1997, he also served as a judge of the Labor Appeal Court.

Ngcoba was then appointed Acting Judge, President of the Labor Court and the Labor Court of Appeal in 1999.

That same year, former President Nelson Mandela appointed Ngkobo to the ConCourt before he succeeded Pia Langa as Chief Justice, where he served for two years before retiring.

Judge Masipa


Born in 1947, Masipa grew up in Soweto and later graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work in 1974.

Worked as a journalist with experience Sovetanamong other publications, during the height of apartheid, before she began studying law and graduated in 1990, the year Mandela was released.


After qualifying, Mapisa began practicing law after being admitted as a barrister in 1991.

In 1998, she was appointed a judge of the High Court of South Africa (Transvaal Division), becoming only the second black woman to sit on the bench.

Masipa rose to prominence during the trial of Paralympian Oscar Pistorius, whom she found not guilty of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp and convicted him of a lesser charge in 2014.

However, her decision was overturned by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) and Pistorius’ jail term was increased from six to 15 years.

Professor Kaland


Born in the United Kingdom (UK) in 1964, Calland is a public law academic, columnist and author.

Calland received his BA from Durham University.

He also holds a Master of Laws from UCT, as well as a Postgraduate Diploma in World Politics from the London School of Economics.


After practicing law at the London Bar for seven years (called to Lincoln’s Inn in 1987), Kaland moved to South Africa in 1994 to work as an adviser to the ANC in the Western Cape Province.

Since 2001, Calland has been a regular commentator in the media, and his political columns are published in various publications, including Citizen.

He is the author Anatomy of South Africa and The Zuma yearspublished in 2006 and 2013, respectively.

In 2016, Calland’s book about politics – Translate the description into the following language: Belarusian using Google Translate? Translate the description into the following language: Belarusian using Google Translate? – was published.

“An objective participant in the discussion”

Talking to Citizen On Thursday, legal expert Dr Llewellyn Curlewis said he believed the candidates were suitable to sit on the commission.

“There are two ex-judges and a legal scholar, so as far as I’m concerned it’s a well-balanced group, but as I’ve said before, those three and anyone else on the shortlist would be good choices. The main thing is that the commission includes persons not connected to specific political parties,” he said.

Democratic Alliance (Yes), however, expressed their displeasure with Calland’s inclusion in the group.

This was stated by the speaker v [National Assembly]Mapisa-Nkakula, an extremely poor assessment of her appointment [professor] Kaland.

ALSO READ: DA reiterates call for ad hoc committee as Zizi Kodwa clears Phala Phala ‘cover-up’

“Legal scholar, but hardly an objective participant in the discussion regarding his social activities. This move undermines the credibility of [Section] 89 request [which] throws the whole process,” said DA Chief Whip Siviwe Gwarube in a tweet on Thursday.

“The rules of the parliament are clear: the group must be independent and objective. Trust in the process depends on this requirement, otherwise it will be hindered by this assignment. We want to accept the result. No worries about the composition of the panel,” Gwarube continued.

Also, the leader of the DA John Stanhuizen said that a columnist “by no stretch of the imagination” could be considered independent.

Majority rule

Commenting on the party’s reaction to Calland’s appointment, Curlewis said: “Even if that’s the case, and I’m not saying it’s true, obviously you’re always going to have people who criticize from a particular political point of view.

“That being said, remember that the group is made up of three people, so majority rule will advance their recommendations to Parliament. A minority decision may also be made by a person who deviates from the majority.’

The lawyer agreed with this Kaland may be removed if additional complaints arise.

“He can also take a self-excuse. After hearing criticism against him, he may decide that it is better for him to step aside.

“The speaker should have replaced him with someone else. So that is also possible, but for the same thing, Justice Masipa or Ngkoba can do the same thing,” Curlewis said.

READ MORE: Malema Denies Public Protection Office Bullying But Demands Phala Phala Report

“The fact that they said it themselves doesn’t mean they can’t change their mind a week later or during the process.

“If there’s anything that shows any kind of bias at any stage, they can recuse themselves … There could even be a recusal from the president’s legal team, so a lot can happen,” he added.

Meanwhile, political analyst Dr. Ralph Matekga seemed to share the same sentiment, saying the legitimacy of any outcome depends on trust in the processes.

“I don’t understand why people should already be saying that we know this person is not going to seek impeachment or impeachment, we can’t predict outcomes based on individuals. They have honest people, the results are likely to be legitimate,” he said Citizen.

Section 89

The creation of the group came after Mapisa-Nkakula accepted a request from the African Transformation Movement (ATM) for the Section 89 inquiry into Ramaphosa.

The ATM petition was based on allegations of money laundering, including in connection with a February 2020 theft at the Phala Phala presidential farm in Limpopo.

The commission must make a recommendation on whether there is sufficient evidence that Ramaphosa committed any of the offenses alleged in the party’s petition.

READ MORE: Phala Phala: Ramaphosa to face another vote of no confidence

If the panel recommends to Parliament that Ramaphosa has a case, their recommendation will be put to a vote in the National Assembly.

A Section 89 impeachment committee will then be established to investigate the president’s fitness for office if a majority is achieved during the vote.

It could ultimately lead to Ramaphosa’s impeachment if that committee also recommends his removal.

A two-thirds majority will be required in the House of Representatives for an impeachment vote.

Additional reporting by Lungo Mzangwe

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