In one of the most anticipated voting exercises in South Africa’s Parliament concerning President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm robbery, the opposition lawmakers failed to amass enough votes to pass the independent parliamentary report which would have led the president’s impeachment in the near future, APA has learnt.While 148 lawmakers voted in favour of the report, 214 lawmakers were against it, and two abstained.
This was due to the ruling African National Congress’ group of lawmakers in the House who were instructed by the top brass not to vote for the measure to pass come what may.
While the ANC was successful in helping Ramaphosa escape being hauled before an impeachment committee to account for the farmgate scandal, the party goes into this weekend’s elective conference with “deep divisions” over combating corruption.
This after four ANC lawmakers – presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Mervyn Dirks, Supra Mahumapelo and Mosebenzi Zwane – broke ranks with the party when they voted along with the opposition for the adoption of the damning Section 89 report in the National Assembly on Tuesday.
The voting was not without controversy as ANC lawmakers Thandi Mahambehlala initially stated “party line” when asked to cast her ballot and then said “yes” when asked again.
The voting procedure over the Section 89 report is likely to face litigation if threats of legal action by the opposition EFF are anything to go by.
“We want to place it on record that we do not agree with the approach you have taken in terms of this vote and we are to subject this process to judicial review, which will include holding you (Speaker) personally liable for having taken purposefully undermined the democratic rights of MPs,” EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu said.
Reacting to the voting, opposition Democratic Alliance leader John Steenhuisen said the ANC had not changed its undemocratic behaviour in the wake of state capture and the Zondo Commission report which probed corrupt activities under former president Jacob Zuma.