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Phala Phala set to loom large in ‘heated and robust’ talks at final crunch NEC meet before elective conference

Phala Phala set to loom large in ‘heated and robust’ talks at final crunch NEC meet before elective conference
ANC NEC member and deputy secretary-general hopeful Nomvula Mokonyane said the highest decision-making body should not only single out the Phala Phala matter, but look at matters affecting broader society. (Photo by Gallo Images / Alet Pretorius)

The ANC top brass are gathering for a face-to-face National Executive Committee meeting at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Soweto over the weekend. This is the last official meeting before the party heads to its 55th national conference.

The ANC’s top brass are likely to look into the Phala Phala matter as the party’s integrity committee, led by George Mashamba, has already completed a draft report on the issue.

Read in Daily Maverick: “Ramaphosa’s Farmgate scandal – a timeline of what we know (and don’t know) so far 

Daily Maverick can confirm that there has been no consensus by the committee on what sanction should be taken against party president Cyril Ramaphosa at this stage. 

Ramaphosa appeared before the committee in September shortly after former spy boss Arthur Fraser laid charges against him. However, he refused to disclose details of what unfolded at his game farm, arguing that the matter is subjudice.

Fraser alleged earlier in 2022 that Ramaphosa was involved in illegal activities surrounding a burglary at his farm. He claimed Ramaphosa had breached the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, and that large undisclosed sums of US dollars were removed from the Limpopo farm by burglars.

Instead of reporting the matter to the police, Ramaphosa has been accused of having secretly instructed the head of the police’s Presidential Protection Unit, Major-General Wally Rhoode, to investigate the matter. Rhoode’s investigation led to the belief that the perpetrators were linked to a domestic worker at the farm.

President Cyril Ramaphosa at a big-game auction in Rustenburg on 14 April 2012. He has maintained his innocence in the Phala Phala matter. (Photo: Gallo Images / Foto24 / Cornel van Heerden)

Fraser alleged that the suspects were caught, kidnapped and interrogated, and he believed crimes of defeating the ends of justice, kidnapping and money laundering were committed. Ramaphosa is also alleged to have paid off suspects, including his domestic workers, R150,000 each to not reveal the incident to anyone after the offenders had been traced and apprehended.

Rhoode, an SAPS official, now faces suspension amid an internal investigation into his conduct around the burglary.

Ramaphosa has maintained his innocence.

Read in Daily Maverick: “Ramaphosa pleads innocence, says charges laid against him are politically motivated

Speaking to the media just before the meeting, ANC NEC member and deputy secretary-general hopeful Nomvula Mokonyane said the highest decision-making body should not only single out the Phala Phala matter, but look at matters affecting broader society.

“Of course there are serious policy issues which are important, we cannot  just select the issue of Phala Phala, we cannot just select the issue of step-aside, outside of the broader policy issues. What every meeting of the ANC should look at is its progress around the implementation of the mandate that we have been given. The mandate is about land, the mandate is about building a non-racial society, the mandate is about building an equal society and promotion of the emancipation of women. The mandate is about building an activist and vibrant ANC. Our mandate is coming to an end, we are here in a few weeks’ time,” she said.


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Mokonyane said she is expecting heated and robust discussions throughout the weekend.

“The significance of this meeting is that this is the first face-to-face NEC meeting in two years. Over two years it is the first time that we are coming together, so there will be no leaks like what used to happen to us. I am looking forward to us being frank and open with one another. It is our last ordinary NEC that is going to look at the preparations for the national conference, having not been able to have the national general council. We are excited that we have been able to have provincial conferences,” she said.

The ANC will also discuss its state of readiness for the national conference where new leadership will be elected. Its electoral committee will give a presentation on the work it has done so far. Ramaphosa will present his political report, while the organisational and financial reports will also be a part of deliberations. 

‘No problems’

Speaking to Daily Maverick, ANC electoral committee member Chief Livhuwani Matsila said they have not received any complaints through the hotline set up to report foul play by those running leadership campaigns. 

Matsila believes this shows the level of discipline and respect that members have displayed throughout campaigning. 

“We have received informal complaints but no formal complaints yet. As it is, there are no people insulting each other through campaigns. So this is one of the most respectful campaigns that the ANC has ever had because there are rules set by the electoral committee which were approved by the NEC. So, why people do not have many problems is because people are abiding by the rules of the committee. People are focusing more on why their preferred candidates,” he said.

The conference will take place between the 16th and 20th December. DM

 

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