Following the news that Cyril Ramaphosa will no longer pursue a legal application to have Section 89 panel’s report reviewed and set aside, the United Democratic Movement (UDM) has given National Director of Public Prosecutions, Advocate Shamila Batohi, a deadline to charge the president.
While briefing media on Monday, on the President’s diary for the week ahead, Presidential Spokesperson Vincent Magwenya announced that Ramaphosa will no longer be challenging the lawfulness and validity of the report into his conduct during the Phala Phala farm robbery.
The panel, chaired by Former Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo, had found that the President may have seriously violated sections 96(2)(a) of the Constitution and Section 34(1) of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities (PRECCA) Act, thus violating his oath of office – an allegation which Ramaphosa has vehemently denied.
The UDM believes that Ramaphosa’s legal challenge never had any merit, but was launched to mislead Parliament into understanding that the matter was “before the courts” and to coerce the Speaker to disallow the request of the opposition parties to conduct a secret ballot.
“It was also used to open the way for Ramaphosa to stand for re-election as ANC President at NASREC. In short it was a blatant abuse of the court process to achieve ulterior motives.
“The report now stands as a valid document with a finding by independent and very senior legal experts that the President has a case to answer for the serious criminal offence of breaching Section 34 of PRECCA.
“The UDM therefore calls upon Advocate Shamila Batohi, the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), to charge Mr. Ramaphosa based on the above findings of the Ngcobo Panel which is stronger in calibre than any police investigation would be.
“Given the seriousness of the matter and the NDPP’s failure to act thus far, she is given until 1 June 2023 to charge Mr. Ramaphosa failing which the appropriate court will be approached on an urgent basis to compel her to do so,” the UDM stated.