Richard Calland answers questions about the Phala Phala panel

University of Cape Town law professor Richard Calland is no longer going to serve on the panel tasked with a preliminary inquiry into a motion in terms of section 89 of the constitution. This motion relates to the Phala Phala controversy around president Cyril Ramaphosa. Some political parties had objected to Calland's appointment on the basis that he is politically biased in favour of Ramaphosa. Calland appeared on Eusebius on TimesLIVE to explain his decision to accept the judgment of the speaker of parliament that “it is in the best interest of the parliamentary process” for him to no longer be a part of it.
Eusebius McKaiser asked Calland what considerations he took into account when he was told of his nomination, and in deciding whether to accept it. Calland explains that his main consideration was whether he could, as a trained lawyer, assess the issues fairly, independently and without bias, even as someone who has been a public intellectual and commentator for more than 20 years. Having satisfied himself that he met these criteria, he accepted the nomination. 
When pushed by McKaiser about perceived bias, Calland insisted that, after social media criticism as well as a formal complaint by the EFF communicated to the speaker of parliament, he did in fact seriously reflect on what critics had said. The standard he applied, in reflecting on these criticisms, was the same he would apply in a judicial request for recusal. Calland claims that each of the purported proofs of his alleged bias from the EFF fell short of the “reasonableness” standard for recusal, and he could articulate, he claims, how each of the pieces of “evidence”, which are essentially references to his work as an analyst, drew inferences, from past columns for example, that do not justify a “reasonable apprehension of bias” in the appointment to the panel. 
27 Sep 2022 English South Africa News Commentary · Politics

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