Ramaphosa to answer outstanding Phala Phala questions on the pre-scheduled date, MPs told

President Cyril Ramaphosa. File photo.
President Cyril Ramaphosa. File photo.
Image: GCIS

President Cyril Ramaphosa will only answer outstanding questions about the robbery at his Phala Phala game farm on September 29, a date that had already been prescheduled for a presidential question session.

National Assembly speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula told MPs Ramaphosa indicated this is the earliest date he can answer the outstanding questions.

Ramaphosa’s question session last Tuesday ended abruptly after MPs squabbled over whether he answered an African Transformation Movement (ATM) question about his handling of the scandal.

Two days later, during a meeting of the NA programming committee, opposition MPs demanded parliament be urgently reconvened so Ramaphosa could answer the outstanding supplementary questions.

Mapisa-Nqakula wrote to the president to enquire about his availability.

“The president has since written back and has indicated that the earliest opportunity he can attend to the outstanding questions is September 29, which is the day which anyway was allocated for questions to the president,” she told the programming committee on Thursday.

“Accordingly then, the president will deal with the supplementary questions ... that will be in addition to the questions that will be on the order paper for the day.”

Opposition MPs expressed disappointment Ramaphosa couldn’t find time in his schedule to appear before September 29.

“It’s unfortunate that he could not find one hour in his time between now and the 29th to attend to this very urgent business,” said IFP chief whip Narend Singh.

EFF chief whip Floyd Shivambu rejected Mapisa-Nqakula’s feedback describing it as “rubbish” and saying MPs should not accept that “Mr Ramaphosa cannot come and account”.

“It’s completely unacceptable that we are now being dictated to by the president who is supposed to account to parliament, about things which are bordering on him committing crime and undermining the laws of this country.

“Where is the relative autonomy of parliament when a president just does as he wishes?”

Shivambu suggested parliament should reject Ramaphosa’s proposed date and schedule an earlier one for the outstanding questions.

Meanwhile, Mapisa-Nqakula said the report on the socioeconomic impact study on the relocation of parliament will be made available to MPs next week. Parliament commissioned the study in 2018 but its findings and recommendations were kept under wraps.


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