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Ramaphosa granted more time to respond to public protector on Phala Phala saga

02 July 2022 - 13:01
President Cyril Ramaphosa has been underwhelming, inept and indecisive, the writer says.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has been underwhelming, inept and indecisive, the writer says.
Image: SIPHIWE SIBEKO

The public protector's office says it has granted President Cyril Ramaphosa an extension to respond to Phala Phala allegations after he requested it.

President Ramaphosa was due to respond to the public protector by June 22.

“Upon a careful consideration of the request, which was brought to acting public protector Adv Kholeka Gcaleka’s attention by the investigation officer for approval, it was acceded to. It must be noted that requests such as the president’s are quite common where the public protector’s investigative work is concerned,” the office said.

It added it was on track with its investigation into allegations that Ramaphosa violated the executive code of ethics, adding that Gcaleka had written to the speaker of the National Assembly, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, to inform her the final report would be submitted once the investigation was complete.

It said it had received four complaints concerning the theft at the president's Limpopo farm, two of which “were lodged in terms of the Executive Members’ Ethics Act while the rest were lodged under the Public Protector Act”.

Last month former spy boss Arthur Fraser, a close associate of former president Jacob Zuma, opened criminal charges regarding the incident, saying there was an attempt to cover up the theft of millions of US dollars from the farm.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) has confirmed it will investigate an alleged cover-up by the police.

In terms of the Executive Members’ Ethics Act (EMEA), the public protector must submit a report on the alleged breach of the code of ethics within 30 days of receipt of the complaint. However, if the investigation is not completed another report must be submitted when the investigation has been completed.

“The public protector never completes Executive Members’ Ethics Act investigations within the prescribed 30-day period due to the complexity of such matters, among other reasons. The institution currently has, in its caseload, several active (such) investigations, some of which date back to 2020,” it said.

It reiterated that all investigations “will be carried out with integrity, without fear, favour or prejudice to give effect to the principle of equality before the law”.

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