Opposition parties, civil society organisations picket at PP’s office over Phala Phala report
Parties that will be marching on Friday include the EFF, IFP, ACDP, UDM and Cope.
President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Presidency Budget Vote Debate on 10 June 2022, in Cape Town. Picture: Gallo Images/Brenton Geach
Opposition parties and some civil society organisations are on Friday morning expected to picket at the Office of the Public Protector in Pretoria.
The picket, led by the African Transformation Movement (ATM), is meant to force acting Public Protector Advocate Kholeka Gcaleka to release the report into the Phala Phala robbery at President Cyril Ramaphosa’s game farm in Limpopo.
The parties that will be taking part in the march include the EFF, IFP, ACDP, UDM and Cope. The parties’ stance comes after Ramaphosa last month refused to account to the National Assembly about the robbery at his farm in February 2020.
The picket is expected to begin at 11am. The marchers will gather from 9 am, at the open space in Kirkness Street and Park Street, Loftus, Pretoria.
Phala Phala scandal
The president has increasingly come under public pressure to come clean on the robbery, after former spy boss Arthur Fraser laid a criminal complaint against him in June of money laundering, kidnapping and corruption.
Fraser alleged that the president was involved in an elaborate cover-up of the crime after criminals – allegedly working in cahoots with his domestic worker – broke into his property and stole millions of US dollars in cash.
He further claimed that the suspects were subsequently kidnapped, interrogated and bribed to keep quiet.
While Ramaphosa said he would cooperate with investigations, he denied any criminality on his part and maintained that the crime was reported to the Presidential Protection Unit.
Reasons behind picket
UDM deputy president Nqabayomzi Kwankwa on Thursday said the aim of Friday’s picket was to create public awareness and put pressure on the acting Public Protector to release the report with immediate effect.
“Remember in terms of the Executive members’ Ethic Act 82 of 1998, it’s clear in Section 3 that she has 30 days to release a report, if she cannot meet the deadline, she must release another report but now it’s almost 90 days later, there is no report. Nothing, all that we are hearing is that it is a work-in-progress,” Kwankwa told Newzroom Afrika.
EFF national spokesperson Sinawo Tambo shared Kwankwa’s sentiments.
Tambo reiterated that Advocate Gcaleka was in breach of the Public Protector Act.
“There is no justifiable reason for her to have not released the report so it means that she is deliberately dragging her feet. Opposition parties are not shy in approaching the judiciary to ensure that the public protector releases the report,” Tambo told SABC News.
“She must be compelled to do so. But what we are doing now is making society appreciate that there is an institution just sitting on a report, even just a preliminary version of it.
“So that the people of South Africa can appraise themselves on what the President did on Phala Phala farm. He is accused with money laundering, kidnapping and using State resources to conceal a crime,” he added.
The following intersections will be affected by Friday’s march in Pretoria.
- Park Street
- Bond Street
- Lynnwood Road
- University Road
- Herold Street
- Jan Shoba Street
- Lunnon Road
Motorists are advised to avoid affected streets and use alternative routes such as Burnett Street, Duxbury Road and Brooks Street.
They are expected to disperse from Public Protector’s offices at 3.30pm.
Additional reporting by Siphumelele Khumalo