ATM submits new inquiry request to Speaker over Ramaphosa farm robbery

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African Transformation Movement president Vuyolwethu Zungula. (Photo: Rosetta Msimango)
African Transformation Movement president Vuyolwethu Zungula. (Photo: Rosetta Msimango)
  • The African Transformation Movement has filed another motion for Parliament to investigate President Cyril Ramaphosa over his farmgate scandal. 
  • The submission comes a day after Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula snubbed the party, saying that substantive motions did not accompany its initial submission. 
  • The UDM is also expected to make another submission.

Despite being snubbed by National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula on Monday, the African Transformation Movement (ATM) has filed another motion for the establishment of an inquiry into President Cyril Ramaphosa, following the saga that stemmed from a robbery at his Phala Phala farm in Limpopo.

On Monday, Mapisa-Nqakula said the party's request for a Section 89 inquiry was not accompanied by substantive motions as required by the assembly rules.

After consultation with its legal team, the ATM filed a substantive motion on Tuesday in terms of Rule 129A for the establishment of a Section 89 inquiry over allegations that he breached the Prevention of Organised Crime Act by not reporting the robbery and corruption at his farm.

Attached to a cover letter that the party submitted to the speaker, was supporting evidence on why the party was calling for an inquiry. 

READ | Farm robbery: Speaker rejects UDM, ATM calls for action to be taken against Ramaphosa

The supporting evidence includes a YouTube link of the president addressing ANC Limpopo conference delegates on the allegations against him. 

The ATM argues that there is overwhelming prima facie evidence against Ramaphosa that constitutes constitutional violations as contemplated in Section 89 of the Constitution.

It said in its submission: 

It is common cause that [former spy boss] Mr Arthur Fraser has submitted evidence at the Rosebank police station where the president is implicated in serious crimes, including bribery, money laundering, kidnapping, breaching of customs and excise laws, breaching of SARS regulations, breaching the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, defeating the ends of justice, to mention but a few.

The ATM is adamant that it is not clear how finality will be reached on these matters, given that the heads of all the institutions that must investigate these crimes are Ramaphosa appointees. It says Parliament must hold him accountable. 

The ATM contends that the president violated Section 83(b) of the Constitution, which enjoins him, as head of state to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution as the supreme law of the republic. 

The party argues that Ramaphosa violated Section 96(2)(a) of the Constitution, which states that Cabinet members and deputy ministers may not "undertake any other paid work".

"In response to widely publicised criminal allegations by Mr Arthur Fraser, the president, whilst addressing Limpopo ANC conference delegates and media, is on record saying, I'm a farmer, I am in the cattle business and the game business... I buy and I sell animals...This that is being reported was a clear business transaction of selling animals...".

ALSO READ | 'Fit and proper': How Ramaphosa described Fraser 4 years ago

The party argues that Ramaphosa is still a businessman and only moonlights as a president. 

"In his own words, the president has confirmed that he is actively running his farming business and thus, contrary to the provisions of the Constitution as cited above, the president is doing other paid work. The evidence of this confirmation of a violation of the Constitution is in the attached YouTube clip. This also means the president misled the nation when in 2014, on assuming office as deputy president, he said that a blind trust would manage all his business interests," the ATM submitted.

News24 understands that the UDM is also in the process of resubmitting its request for a parliamentary investigation into Ramaphosa, and for him to be put on sabbatical leave.

Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula declined the UDM's earlier submission on the grounds that it did not constitute, nor was it accompanied by, a substantive motion.

She stated that the rules did not cater for such an inquiry to be initiated, and that there was no legal basis for Parliament to compel the president to take leave or a sabbatical.

For Parliament to undertake such an inquiry, there must be a basis in the Constitution, the law or the rules, she said.

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