ANC MPs must not support adoption of Section 89 panel report, says Mashatile

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  • The ANC's national executive committee resolved that ANC MPs must not support the adoption of the Section 89 panel report.
  • However, the NEC said President Cyril Ramaphosa should still be held accountable for the allegations emanating from the Phala Phala robbery in other investigations. 
  • The ANC NEC meeting on Monday was described as "tense".

A meeting of the ANC's special national executive committee (NEC) rallied behind President Cyril Ramaphosa by blocking a push for him to be subjected to an impeachment process. 

The ANC NEC on Monday decided that ANC MPs could not support the adoption of the Section 89 panel report that found Ramaphosa may have violated the Constitution. 

The adoption of the report by Parliament on Tuesday through a simple majority would mean Ramaphosa would be up for impeachment.

ANC acting secretary-general Paul Mashatile said the special NEC decided it would oppose the adoption of the report because Ramaphosa had taken the report on review. 

The president approached the Constitutional Court on Monday arguing that the report was unlawful and should be set aside.

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Mashatile said that while ANC NEC members disagreed on the matter, by the end of the meeting it decided that its Members of Parliament should be instructed to not support the report's adoption should Parliament proceed with its sitting on Tuesday. 

"It was a unanimous decision by NEC members that, given that the president was challenging the report, the ANC should not support the adoption of the report," said Mashatile. 

He said other institutions, including the Hawks and the party's integrity commission, were investigating the matter. 

He added that as the acting secretary-general he would brief the ANC caucus in Parliament to not vote in favour of the adoption of the report. 

Mashatile was adamant that given this decision by the NEC, Ramaphosa "remains the president of the state and the ANC" for now. 

He said that the decision did not amount to the ANC using its majority to save Ramaphosa's political life. 

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Ramaphosa is said to have indicated to the special NEC meeting on Monday that he was going to take the report on review. 

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa (C) leaves
Cyril Ramaphosa pictured outside the Nasrec centre in Johannesburg on Monday.

Mashatile confirmed that the meeting was heated with many members expressing their views. 

The NEC meeting came after the party's top officials met on Friday and the convening on Sunday of the organisation's national working committee (NWC), a group of over 20 party leaders who handle the daily running of the party.

While Ramaphosa was present at the beginning of the NWC meeting, he asked to be recused given that the meeting was discussing his conduct. 

He also left proceedings during the special NEC meeting to allow members to deliberate on the matter freely. 

Ramaphosa's opponents did not dig in their heels for him to resign or be removed from office, and instead argued that he should clear his name before the parliamentary inquiry. 

However, Mashatile said the ANC did not agree that the president should be subjected to that process. 

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