DA once again wins fight against the ANC to debate Phala Phala saga

Please find attached a soundbite by Siviwe Gwarube MP.

After an eleventh-hour attempt by the ANC to block the DA’s motion to debate the establishment of a Phala Phala ad hoc committee, the DA with the support of other opposition parties managed to, once again, secure an opportunity to table the debate.

The debate was originally scheduled for this afternoon in the Assembly, but late yesterday, the ANC indicated that the debate was removed from today’s Order Paper due to too short notice given to other political parties.

This was, in fact, an opinion that did not take the Assembly’s Rules into account. The DA filed the notice of the motion on Friday last week, and after consultations with the Assembly’s Table and the Chief Whips of other political parties, it was scheduled as our topic of debate on Tuesday.

This is another example of the ANC’s blatant attempts to circumvent Parliament’s constitutional responsibilities to hold the Government and President Ramaphosa accountable.

This morning during the meeting of the Assembly’s Programme Committee, the Speaker, Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, directed that the debate be placed on the Order Paper next week.

The DA sees this as a win for accountability in so far as the role of Parliament in holding the President and various state institutions to account for the alleged theft and abuse of state resources at the President’s private Phala Phala game farm is concerned.

We are ready for next week’s debate, and will lobby all political parties represented in the Assembly to support our call for this ad hoc committee to be established. Once the debate takes place, the House will need to vote on whether the ad hoc committee should be established.

While the Section 89 Inquiry, in the process of being established by the Speaker, will interrogate whether or not impeachment proceedings should be instituted against the President, it does not mean we should not be investigating the other state institutions that are implicated in this saga. There are ministers and state institutions who have a case to answer for in Parliament. This is a serious constitutional obligation that Parliament cannot neglect like it did during State Capture.

Beyond party interests, this is about accountability and reinforcing the role of Parliament in matters of national importance.

The institution has been lambasted in the past for failing to carry out its constitutional obligations. We will not allow this to happen again.