Phala Phala report: DA, ATM disappointed at lack of roll call, open vote

Phala Phala report: DA, ATM disappointed at lack of roll call, open vote

The African Transformation Movement (ATM) and the Democratic Alliance (DA) have both had separate requests for Tuesday’s vote on the independent panel’s Phala Phala report declined by National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.

MPs elect Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula as National Assembly Speaker

ATM President Vuyo Zungula had requested for MPs to vote by way of a secret ballot following the debate on the report, which found that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s response to the theft of foreign currency from his farm may have been unconstitutional and unlawful.

This while DA chief whip Siviwe Gwarube had requested a roll call vote to ensure that all MPs present at the sitting, whether in the House or online, are accounted for.

The procedure requires each MP to answer with a “yes” or “no” when called upon.

ATM spokesperson Zama Ntshona believes the Mapisa-Nqakula failed to make use of an opportunity to protect the country’s democracy.

"We are disappointed that the speaker lost a golden opportunity, to protect the Republic of South Africa, the democracy of this country and the functionality of Parliament, especially on the issue of keeping the executive accountable. The president must be held accountable for the gross violation of the Executive Members Ethics Act, the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, the conflict of interest in him being the president and a businessman at the same time and the issuing of unlawful instructions. This is why we feel that the environment is volatile and needed a secret ballot," says Ntshona.

"Right now, whether we get a secret ballot or not, moving forward it is on us convincing Members of Parliament on Tuesday, each Member of Parliament is sworn in as an independent sitting individual with integrity, this particular avenue is one of the avenues we are going to explore fully.”

DA chief whip Siviwe Gwarube says despite the decision, the party will be voting for the impeachment process to continue.

"A roll call voting procedure ensures that the South African people are afforded the necessary transparency in our parliamentary democracy, where citizens can witness exactly how the people representing their interests vote on crucial and life-changing matters in the National Assembly.

“Despite this, we will be voting for the impeachment process to continue tomorrow. The reality is that a sitting head of state has serious findings made against him and Parliament must satisfy itself - through an impeachment inquiry - on whether or not the president broke the law and by extension his oath of office.”


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