Jordan lashes out at Turok hearing

2012-05-05 18:46

ANC veteran Pallo Jordan whipped the party into postponing a national disciplinary committee hearing against its MP Ben Turok by strongly reprimanding the action and telling the governing party’s prosecutor to stop the process.

A terse Jordan told the committee that Turok was 85 years old and the forum was the wrong one.

Although Jordan has not succeeded in getting the party to withdraw the charges, his strong words and personal clout have placed it between a rock and a hard place.

The ANC national disciplinary committee on Wednesday postponed Turok’s disciplinary hearing after Jordan lashed out at the committee led by Derek Hanekom.

He reportedly called it a “kangaroo court”, though City Press was unable to confirm this with Jordan.

Jordan, who is representing Turok as well as MP Gloria Borman at the hearing, confirmed he said the disciplinary action should not go ahead but would not be pressed on further details.

Jordan sits on the party’s national executive and national working committees.

The ANC hauled Turok and Gloria Borman before a disciplinary committee for refusing to vote in favour of the controversial Protection of State Information Bill last November. Turok walked out before voting started, while Borman chose to abstain.

Turok is facing charges that include bringing the party into disrepute, undermining the effectiveness of the organisation and intentionally or unintentionally working with counter-revolutionary forces by defying the party’s instruction that all its members should vote in favour of the bill.

Two sources – a Luthuli House insider and a government official with close ties to the ANC headquarters – confirmed that Jordan reprimanded the committee for its decision to discipline Turok.

The Luthuli House insider said the party and the committee were reluctant to continue with Turok’s disciplinary matter, which Jordan said must be “stopped in its tracks”.

“There’s no appetite at Luthuli House or at the disciplinary committee to take this forward, but the parliamentary caucus panel, which laid the complaint, is baying for Ben’s blood.”

A government official said an angry Jordan did not mince his words when he defended Turok.

“He told them this 85-year-old man is not going to be taken through their kangaroo court,” said the source. “He said they must find a political solution.”

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