President Cyril Ramaphosa has shrugged off the EFF’s planned Constitutional Court challenge of the National Assembly’s decision not to adopt the Section 89 independent panel’s report into the Phala Phala farm burglary, saying: ‘We are a country that is ruled by the rule of law and the judiciary deals with matters like that.'

Ahead of Thursday evening’s State of the Nation Address, the EFF confirmed it had filed papers in the Constitutional Court to declare the National Assembly’s decision in December 2022 not to adopt the Phala Phala panel’s report ‘irrational and unlawful’. 

City Press notes the three-member panel, led by retired Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo, found there was a prima facie case that Ramaphosa may have violated his oath of office in relation to the burglary at his Phala Phala game farm in Limpopo, four years ago.

However, the panel’s report, which could have led to Ramaphosa facing impeachment proceedings, was quashed by ANC MPs.

Ramaphosa has been cleared of wrongdoing over the Phala Phala saga by the SA Revenue Service, the SA Reserve Bank and the Office of the Public Protector in their separate investigations.

As previously reported, in its notice of motion before the court, the EFF argued that the National Assembly failed in its constitutional obligation to hold the executive branch accountable.

The party further contended that it was unconstitutional for the ANC to leverage its parliamentary majority to shield Ramaphosa from investigation.

The EFF also wants the court to declare Rule 129I of the Rules of the National Assembly ‘inconsistent with the Constitution, as it allows the National Assembly to vote against any possible impeachment proceedings in circumstances where a prima facie case has been made against a sitting President by the panel, alternatively on the basis that it is impermissibly vague’.

Full City Press report