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Parliament, Monday, 1 March 2021 –The Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Thandi Modise MP, has received a Report of the Independent Panel. The Panel was established in terms of the National Assembly Rules to conduct a preliminary assessment and make a recommendation on whether there is prima facie evidence showing that the PP has committed a misconduct or is incompetent. The three-member independent panel is constituted by Justice B Nkabinde (Chairperson), Advocate D Ntsebeza SC and Advocate J De Waal SC.

According to the Report, the assessment and recommendations are based on the information made available to the Panel consisting of the motion, charges preferred against the PP, numerous reports, pleadings filed in litigation in various courts against and by the PP and judgments as well the PP’s written response.

The charges related to, among other matters, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB)/ABSA Lifeboat Report case; Vrede Dairy Project – Estina’s case; Financial Sector Conduct Authority’s and Mr Tshidi’s case; Mr Samuels’ complaint to the Speaker; Baloyi’s case; CR17 Campaign’s case. Messrs Gordhan and Pillay Roque Unit’s case, Mr Zuma Tax Record’s case; and the Government Employees Medical Scheme’s (GEMS) case.

The Panel made findings in relation to the charges. The findings, following the preliminary assessment, are that there is substantial information that constitutes prima facie evidence of incompetence. Examples of such incompetence are: the prima facie evidence demonstrating the PP’s overreach and exceeding the bounds of her powers in terms of the Constitution and the PP Act; repeated errors of the same kind such as incorrect interpretation of the law and other patent legal errors; failure to give audi (right to be heard) to the affected persons; incorrect factual analysis; sustained lack of knowledge to carry out duties and/or inability or skill to perform the duties effectively and efficiently as required by the Constitution. According to the Panel, these instances, cumulatively assessed, meet the threshold of prima facie evidence of sustained incompetence.

The Panel also found that there is sufficient information that constitutes prima facie evidence of misconduct. The examples given include the following: the PP’s failure to reveal that she had meetings with the former President of the Republic and the State Security Agency; to honour an agreement with the SARB thereby displaying non-compliance with a high standard of professional ethics as required by the Constitution and to investigate the third complaint regarding the alleged involvement of certain politicians in the Vrede Dairy Project; her alleged modification of the final report and providing untruthful explanation to a review court as to why same was done as well as her patently wrong findings on money laundering in the CR17 Campaign matter and her unexplained doubting of the bona fides of the President (the latter found to constitute prima facie evidence of both incompetence and misconduct).

The Panel recommends that, for the reasons contained in its reports, the charges based on the findings of prima facie evidence of incompetence and misconduct be referred to a Committee of the National Assemble to investigate/inquire (if it so resolves) in terms of section 194 of the Constitution. The Rules of the Assembly stipulate that once the panel has made its recommendations, the Speaker must schedule these for decision by the House. If the House decides the inquiry should go ahead, it must be referred to a special section 194 committee, for formal inquiry. The Speaker must inform the President of any action or decision coming from the recommendations.

The full report will be available on Parliament’s website.

Enquiries: Moloto Mothapo 082 370 6930