Phala Phala: Parliament Must Vigorously Interrogate Public Protector Report

ActionSA is concerned that Acting Public Protector, Adv Kholeka Gcaleka’s preliminary report into the Phala Phala burglary is fatally flawed on account that it clears President Ramaphosa of wrongdoing. While we appreciate that this is a preliminary report and that a final report might come to different conclusions, we are concerned that Adv Gcaleka seems to have omitted information readily available in the public domain.

As such Parliament must interrogate this preliminary report and its final iteration pursuant to section 181(5) of the Constitution and satisfy itself that the Office of the Public Protector is not being compromised further for nefarious political ends.

South Africa, has for more than six years, been saddled with a politically expedient and compromised Public Protector in Busisiwe Mkhwebane and we can ill-afford for the Acting Public Protector to further erode the public’s confidence in such a critical chapter 9 institution established to protect the South African people against abuses of power by the state.

Gcaleka’s finding that no basis to conclude that Ramaphosa contravened the Executive Ethics Code is objectionable and strikingly without merit as there is clear evidence, in the public record, that President Ramaphosa was both aware of the burglary and that his security detail attempted to conceal it. To suggest otherwise would be a flagrant undermining of the intelligence of the South African people and tantamount to a whitewashing of serious misconduct on the part of the President.

Furthermore, despite the President confirming that $580,000 was stolen from his Phala Phala farm, he neither reported the matter to the police nor declared the foreign currency to the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).

As a party which is committed to the rule of law, ActionSA will continue to keep the President accountable for his criminal conduct related to Phala Phala and ensure that South African law is applied equally.

Our institutions in defence of our constitutional democratic order cannot be allowed to aide and abet the President in his pursuit of unlawful ends and Parliament is dutybound to step in and arrest any further politicisation of this crucial constitutional body that has suffered enough abuse in recent years.

Law and order have to be restored, and ActionSA will ensure that it happens.