Following the release of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s report finding President Cyril Ramaphosa guilty of violating the constitution, Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane held a press conference.
Maimane’s reaction to what the DA called Mkhwebane’s “report into President Cyril Ramaphosa’s dodgy Bosasa dealings” – a report based partially on a complaint laid by the DA leader himself – was to call for the president to face an ad-hoc committee in parliament which would determine “appropriate sanctions” against him.
“It is a common cause that the president is not a member of the parliament. Therefore, we want to request an adhoc committee be established in parliament to interrogate appropriate sanctions for a president who misleads parliament,” Maimane said.
“If we are going to uphold constitutional democracy, if president Mandela was alive today, he would appear before any committee and subject himself to the rules of this country, so should any other president, including President Ramaphosa,” the DA leader added.
The DA appears to be advancing the idea that an ad-hoc committee – meaning one that would be assembled specifically for the task at hand – as opposed to one of parliament’s standing committees – would be the best way to determine how the president should be sanctioned following the findings of the report.
This means that the DA disagrees with the remedial action stipulated by the public protector in her report.
Mkhwebane called for Ramaphosa to be referred to the Joint Committee on Ethics and Members Interests within ten working days and for the report to be deliberated on by members of parliament within thirty working days, as well as for the president to declare all donations made to him within thirty working days.
DA chief whip John Steenhuisen took to Twitter to call the proposed remedial action a “completely bizarre recommendation” because it related to parliament and the president was not a member of parliament, which according to Steenhuisen meant he was not subject to the joint ethics committees.
It appears that this is the official DA party line too, hence Maimane calling for an ad-hoc committee at the press conference.
This is a completely bizarre recommendation as it relates to Parliament. The President is not a member of Parliament and therefore not subject to the joint ethics committee. An Ad-Hoc committee makes far more sense! https://t.co/0oQbzR6UrS
— John Steenhuisen MP (@jsteenhuisen) July 19, 2019