Presidency cancels events following release of Phala Phala report

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has cancelled a number of events that were scheduled for today. Photo: Bloomberg
President Cyril Ramaphosa has cancelled a number of events that were scheduled for today. Photo: Bloomberg


The morning after the parliamentary independent panel report which found that President Cyril Ramaphosa has a case to answer over the Phala Phala money theft scandal, has seen pre-planned events in the Presidency being cancelled.

Ramaphosa was scheduled to answer questions in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) in parliament but this has been cancelled. Deputy President David Mabuza was meant to have given a keynote address at a World AIDS day commemoration event in Free State, but he is no longer going.

Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya, has also cancelled his regular press briefings with journalists where he updates them about Ramaphosa’s diary.

READ: Ramaphosa's political future uncertain after panel finds he may have violated the Constitution

On Wednesday, retired Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo handed over the Section 89 independent panel report to National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.

The report, which was also released publically last night, has raised serious questions about the dollars stolen at Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm and why there is still no case number two years later.

On Thursday morning, in a statement, parliament’s spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said Ramaphosa would no longer appear before the NCOP following the release of the report. He said the NCOP chairperson, Amos Masondo, had received correspondence from the Presidency to ask that Ramaphosa’s appearance be postponed following the release of the report.

The statement reads: 

The letter noted that the Section 89 independent panel process has been unprecedented in the life of South Africa’s constitutional democracy and that the recommendations of the panel and their implications for the stability of the country required that the President take the time to carefully consider the contents of the report and the next course of action to be taken.

Masondo agreed to the request.

In a statement on Wednesday night, the EFF said that it would not allow Ramaphosa to address any platform as president. 

Meanwhile, on Thursday morning, Mabuza’s office also released a statement that he would no longer be speaking at the World Aids Day commemoration event where he was due to speak in his capacity as the chairperson of the South National African AIDS Council.

The statement said, instead, Mabuza would be "tending to his responsibilities as the leader of government business in Parliament". Minister of Health Joe Phaahla would now deliver the main address at the commemoration event.

On Wednesday night, Magwenya also released a statement that the media briefing he had called for Thursday had been cancelled. He did not offer any explanation as to why the briefing had been cancelled.

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