Today’s vote in the National Assembly, in which the ANC used its Parliamentary majority to block the Section 89 Independent Panel Report into the Phala Phala allegations, confirms, once and for all, that the ANC has not changed its undemocratic behaviour in the wake of State Capture and the Zondo Report.
The ANC we saw in the House today is the same ANC that leapt to the defense of the corrupt former President Jacob Zuma in half a dozen Motions of No Confidence as well as an Impeachment vote.
Despite all the solemn pledges to do better and to honour their oath of office following the scathing rebuke delivered by Justice Raymond Zondo in his final report into State Capture, the ANC fell at the very first hurdle.
Perhaps even more disappointing is that this behaviour was happily welcomed by President Ramaphosa himself, who has done everything in his power to avoid answering questions truthfully about the money he hid in his farmhouse.
But if the ANC and the president think they’ve succeeded in drawing a line under the Phala Phala scandal, they are very much mistaken.
As we did throughout the Zuma years, the DA will use every resource and every avenue at our disposal to hold the president to account, and to ensure that our Parliament remains functional and intact. This fight has only just begun.
What the ANC has perhaps not yet realised is that the blocking of the report in Parliament today was a pyrrhic victory for them, in that it shattered the myth around the party’s so-called renewal.
Today South Africans were left in no doubt that the presidency of Cyril Ramaphosa is no different to the presidency of Jacob Zuma, and that both men would not hesitate to damage and weaken Parliament in order to evade scrutiny and the law.
If the ANC believes it can act in this way without electoral consequences, 2024 is going to teach them some tough lessons indeed.