Phala Phala report clearly biased and flawed – ARETA

Carl Niehaus says acting PP ignored clear and unequivocal evidence establishing Ramaphosa’s guilt

ARETA condemns the report of the acting Public Protector on Phala Phala

5 July 2023

The African Radical Economic Transformation Alliance (ARETA) unreservedly condemns the clearly biased and flawed report of the Public Protector on President Ramaphosa’s corruption and criminal activities in the Phala Phala saga. Advocate Gcaleka ignored clear and unequivocal evidence establishing that President Ramaphosa is guilty of a serious violation of sections 96(2)(a) of the constitution; a serious violation of section 34(1) of PRECCA; a serious misconduct in that the President violated section 96(2)(b) by acting in a way that is inconsistent with his office and a serious misconduct in that the President violated section 96(2)(b) by exposing himself to a situation involving a conflict between his official responsibilities and his private business.

The Report exposes that as Acting Public Protector, Gcaleka, has been coopted and is now being used as a compliant tool by the corrupt Ramaphosa and his associates to cover up corruption, criminal activities, and maladministration.

Gcaleka today (Wednesday, 5 July 2023) - barely a few days after she released her scandalous Report - confirmed that she is intends to apply for the position of Public Protector (PP). Her baseless, and shameful, absolution of Ramaphosa, which flies in the face of overwhelming evidence that he has a serious prima facie case to answer, as was determined by the Section 89 Independent Panel under the Chairperson-ship of retired Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo, was evidently nothing more than a job application by a crass opportunist, who is prepared to sacrifice her professional integrity, and indeed her soul, on the altar of unbridled ambition and careerism. Gcaleka richly deserves every bit of contempt, vilification, and disgust that comes her way!

The Report further confirms without any shadow of doubt that Ramaphosa who suspended Public Protector Mkhwebane after she started the Phala Phala investigation has succeeded in using his powers in a retaliatory fashion to kill effective investigation into his corruption and to destroy the independence of the Office of the Public Protector.

Ramaphosa’s agenda is to destroy and weaken public institutions that stand in the way of state capture by white monopoly capital. As a full bench of the Western Cape High Court saw through Ramaphosa's agenda when it unanimously held:

“Significantly, the sequence of events leading to the suspension of the [Public Protector Mkhwebane] cannot be discounted or overlooked…[O]n 7 June 2022, [Mkhwebane] informed the President in writing that she was instituting an investigation against him with regard to allegations relating to a violation of the Executive Ethics Code in respect of the Phala Phala farm incident. Thirty-one questions were raised and the President had to respond thereto within 14 days. This correspondence was followed by a public announcement by the applicant on the 8 June 2022 that she had decided to launch an investigation against the President in respect of the Phala Phala matter. In response, on the 9 June 2022, the President decided to suspend the applicant. On these objective facts, it is reasonable to form the perception that the suspension of the applicant was triggered by the decision of the applicant to institute an investigation against the President. There was no other plausible or logical explanation for the premature suspension of the applicant on the eve of a judgment meant to determine the very lawfulness of the suspension.”

The Court went on to say, “The above considerations do not detract from the fact that [Mkhwebane’s] suspension was long in the making. However, at the time the suspension was finalised, the President was dealing with an investigation by the applicant, the substance of the allegations of which he could not discuss as he had done with the other investigations, and this, in our view, is the critical time to assess whether it was still tenable for the President to exercise the suspension powers.”

It is regrettable that the Acting Public Protector has indeed confirmed through her final Phala Phala report that she is a willing accomplice, and a pathetic puppet, willing to sacrifice fundamental constitutional principles on the altar of careerism, opportunism and subservience to the corrupt Ramaphosa-led ANC. Gcaleka's disgraceful report shall forever live in infamy!

Issued by Carl Niehaus on behalf of National Working Board of ARETA, 5 July 2023