The week ahead in Parliament: Phala Phala matter to be debated in today's special plenary
Dec 13, 2022

TUESDAY, 13 DECEMBER 2022

14:00 PLENARY (Cape Town City Hall)

Despite Parliament rising last week, there is a special plenary that has been programmed to take place today:

Consideration of Report of Independent Panel established in accordance with Rule 129A-Q to conduct a preliminary enquiry relating to a motion proposing an enquiry in terms of Section 89 of Constitution, 1996.

The Special Plenary, will see MP’s deciding whether President Cyril Ramaphosa should face impeachment following allegations of wrongdoing amid the Phala Phala robbery saga. In order for the impeachment process to be advanced, 50%+1 of Parliament’s 400 MPs are required to vote in favour of the panel’s report.

Should Parliament adopt the panel’s report today, this would see the establishment of an ad hoc committee to investigate the accuracy of the charges against Ramaphosa, which could result in eventual impeachment. In the event of the committee deciding that Ramaphosa should be removed from office, two thirds of Parliament’s MPs must endorse the committee’s decision for removal.

Committee Programme

Only one meeting has been programmed to take place this week:

MONDAY, 12 DECEMBER 2022

On Monday, the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services, (National Assembly), will be updated on the progress report by Minister Ronald Lamola and the National Prosecuting Authority on the issues around Optimum Coal Mine and the business rescue process.

The Optimum Coal Mine has been in business rescue since 2018 and is the object of highly contested litigation. In December 2021, the NPA approached the Gauteng High Court, for a preservation order against the owners of the mine, Tegeta. The order restricted the assets of Optimum Coal Mine and Optimum Coal Terminal from being disposed of in any manner.

In March 2022, the court granted the order, thereby necessitating the appointment of a business rescue practitioner as a curator, as outlined by the NPA. The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has been accused of applying selective justice by appointing a businessman who facilitated the sale of the controversial Optimum Coal Mine between Glencore and the Guptas to be a curator of the same property on behalf of the state.

The curator was appointed in order to oversee the work of the business rescue practitioners, to care for the property and retain its value. However, since the practitioners remain in control over the mine, the curators powers are believed to remain limited.

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