CAPE TOWN – Parliament’s legal advisors say that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s legal challenge of a report which has called his conduct into question won’t impact legislative processes.
A debate on the Section 89 independent panel report, which was due to be voted on on Tuesday, has been postponed for another week.
On Monday, Ramaphosa approached the Constitutional Court to set aside the report which has found prima facie evidence that he breached the Constitution.
But Parliament said that the report would still be voted on.
The National Assembly has been cited as a respondent in President Ramaphosa’s review application of the Section 89 panel report.
Parliament’s chief legal advisor, Zuraya Adhikarie, said that while there were conflicting views on whether the sub judice rule applied in respect of the parliamentary process, the narrowest interpretation was preferred.
“We’ve heard repeatedly from courts that an automatic and complete bar to the National Assembly from carrying out its constitutional mandate is not permissible, especially where we are needing to hold the executive to account.”
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has insisted that Parliament opposes the application.
But Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said that she would not be pressured into taking a decision without taking legal advice first.
“So, if there’s anything which is not clear in the legal opinion, which will be provided to us by the team of Parliament, we will then proceed to get independent legal opinion.”
Parliament will debate the report, which is currently before the court for review, next week Tuesday.