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Ramaphosa now powerless against corrupt officials, says Steenhuisen on Phala Phala saga

The Democratic Alliance (DA) believes President Cyril Ramaphosa’s efforts to fight corruption has been tainted by the Phala Phala farm burglary scandal.

Speaking to CNN on Monday night, DA leader John Steenhuisen said Ramaphosa’s anti-corruption stance has been weaken by the Section 89’s report, which found the president had a case to answer on Phala Phala.

“It completely shatters his platform of cleaning up and cleaning out, and it really has been his clarion call across South Africa.

“I think this fatally wounds the prospects of him being seen as someone who is able [to fight corruption] because every time he moves against government officials or corruption, they are going to throw this report back in his face and say ‘but hang on a second, you are wanting me to stop doing the following but you were doing the same thing on your farm’. It places him in a completely untenable situation,” he said.

ALSO READ: Man named in Phala Phala report ‘not aware’ buffalo belonged to Ramaphosa

With the DA having tabled its motion seeking to dissolve Parliament, Steenhuisen said the party believes an early election was a solution going forward.

“We think it’s time for the people of South Africa to decide what’s gonna happen going forward [rather than] a 200 ANC member caucus [or] a 4 000 member national executive committee.”

‘Honest account’

The DA leader insisted that Ramaphosa should have come clean from the start.

“He has handled this thing badly from the very beginning. It’s more of the cover up and the subterfuge that, I think, is damaging in this case. [He should have] come out right from the get-go and made an honest account why the money was there,” Steenhuisen continued.

READ MORE: Ramaphosa’s fight back could pick apart Phala Phala panel’s ‘irrational’ errors

Ramaphosa has faced widespread calls for his resignation even that some of his Cabinet ministers, including Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Lindiwe Sisulu, have called on the president to step aside over the Phala Phala matter.

The president has since asked the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) to review and set aside the Phala Phala report, arguing that he was of the view that the panel “accordingly exceeded its mandate”.

Parliament vote

MPs will in the National Assembly debate and vote on the Phala Phala report at the Cape Town City Hall next week.

If adopted, a Section 89 Committee will be established and Ramaphosa will be subjected to impeachment proceedings.

The Section 89 Inquiry will be similar to the Section 194 Inquiry, which suspended Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is currently facing.

A two-thirds majority is needed when voting takes place in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

NOW READ: Possibility of many ANC MPs voting for Section 89 report ‘should not be ruled out’

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