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GOOD: Brett Herron: Address by GOOD Secretary-General and Member of Parliament, during today’s debate on the Section 89 panel report (12/12/2022)


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GOOD: Brett Herron: Address by GOOD Secretary-General and Member of Parliament, during today’s debate on the Section 89 panel report (12/12/2022)

13th December 2022


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Honourable Speaker, 

Today, the National Assembly finds itself at a crossroads.


It is an opportunity to break away from the culture of impunity that has eroded this House over recent decades, and show that Parliament can indeed perform its job of holding the executive to account. 

Or, it could fall again into its old habits. 


If Parliament were today to vote to bring an abrupt end to this impeachment process, it would fly in the face of everything that this administration has preached of renewal and constitutionalism. 

South Africa needs leaders who are morally, ethically and legally unimpeachable. 

No person is above the law, and the rules adopted to give effect to Section 89 of the Constitution must take their course.

That being said, GOOD respects the right of the President to take the Independent Panel’s Report on review. 

Indeed, we sympathise with his reasons for doing so, and share the President’s reservations that there are various potential legal irregularities in the Panel’s work and the Report that it has produced.

To impeach a sitting President is an extraordinary constitutional act with significant social, political and economic consequences. 

It requires a flawless legal process unswayed by populism, opportunism or party factional interests.

It would be unfair and unreasonable to haul a sitting President before an impeachment committee while these legal questions remain unanswered. 

And this constitutional process would benefit from clear precedent set by the Constitutional Court on the legal questions raised.

The situation is therefore a complex one, but the solution is simple. 

Parliament should today resolve in principle that the Section 89 process must proceed, but the commencement of the impeachment committee should be delayed pending the outcome of the President’s review.

If the President’s review fails, the impeachment committee process must proceed. 

If his review is upheld, the need for an impeachment committee falls away.

Based on the Report that we have in front of us today, it would be wholly irrational of the National Assembly to vote to kill off the impeachment process until such time as it is set aside by a competent court. 

But it would be equally irrational of Parliament to proceed to Stage 2 of the Section 89 process before finality is reached on the outcomes in Stage 1.

GOOD will move for a resolution that achieves this sensible balance. 

Two binary options are neither sensible, practical nor potentially lawful.



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