Presidency notes DA court challenge over the Lady R investigative panel

Presidential spokesperson,Vincent Magwenya says President Cyril Ramaphosa acted within the law in appointing Judge Phineas Mojapelo as the head of the investigative panel to enquire into the circumstances of the docking of the Lady R Cargo vessel in Simon's Town in December 2022.

Addressing media on Wednesday, Magwenya said the Presidency has noted the intention expressed by the official opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, to challenge the appointment of Judge Phineas Mojapelo as the head of the investigative panel.

Magwenya said the President decided to appoint the independent panel after having “carefully considered the delicate balance that is needed between the public’s right to information and the State’s need to secure information, the disclosure of which may jeopardise our national security and/or international relations”.

He said: “Hence, the President decided to appoint an independent panel rather than a commission of inquiry, as provided for in terms of section 84(2)(f) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa,1996.”

Magwenya emphasised that the President carefully considered his decision to appoint a judge to head the panel.

“President Ramaphosa acted within the law in doing so and we are confident that this appointment will withstand scrutiny.

“In its politically motivated court action, the DA wants to undermine the country’s national interests, failing to appreciate the importance of resolving this matter in a manner that is credible and expeditious.

“The DA is failing to appreciate the damage this issue has caused to our economy and potentially, to very important diplomatic relations, which are now repaired as a result of the level of credibility attached to the panel and its work, the outcome of the investigation and the intensive amount of diplomatic work that has been conducted to date and is still being managed,” Magwenya said.

Source: South African Government News Agency