‘More ANC MPs likely to vote for Ramaphosa impeachment’

ANC president and head of state Cyril Ramaphosa has already survived accountability and scrutiny from his party when the national executive committee decided that he should not face the music for what has become known as the Phala Phala farmgate scandal.

But the real test for Ramaphosa’s presidency will be determined on Tuesday when MPs converge in the National Assembly to deliberate whether or not he should fall on his sword.

The 400 MPs representing various political parties will vote for or against the adoption of Section 89 Independent Panel report which made damning findings against Ramaphosa. The report shows that the head of state may have a prima-facie case to answer regarding the $4-million (R70.5-million) which was hidden at his Phala Phala game farm two years ago.

Ramaphosa is challenging the findings of the panel chaired by retired chief justice Sandile Ngcobo.

Respected political analyst, professor Mcebisi Ndletyana, believes that it will not be surprising if more MPs will decide to throw Ramaphosa under the bus.

“In fact, in the past we have seen a precedence where MPs have broken ranks and voted against former president Jacob Zuma,” said Ndletyana told Sunday World on Tuesday.

“Even when [suspended] public protector, advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, was facing her own troubles, the ANC caucus in parliament were divided.”

He said the move will mean that the MPs who opt to follow their conscience are declaring their opposition to the president. “MPs are picked from a party list where there is a strong insistence of party discipline.”

ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe has warned MPs to toe the party line or face repercussions, saying those who vote for the impeachment inquiry should walk out.

“Ask Makhosi Khoza what happens when you defy the ANC. She had to leave. If you defy the ANC, you have to leave, because it means you do not have respect for the organisation, you’re an individual,” Mantashe said in an interview with Sunday World on Saturday.

“Conscience is okay, but we have a political system.”

The ANC has a majority of 230 members in parliament with 400 seats altogether, and for the motion to see the light of day, at least 201 MPs should vote for the motion.

The Africa Transformation Movement was defeated in its bid to have a secret ballot when the matter is put to vote.

While Ramaphosa fight for his political survival in parliament, he will again face a mammoth task of retaining his position when the ANC convenes for its elective conference on Friday.

He is expected to square off with former health minister Zweli Mkhize for the position of party president.

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