Motshekga: ANC is victimising victims of corrupt state

2017-08-15 20:40
Mathole Motshekga (File, Netwerk24)

Mathole Motshekga (File, Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg - Former ANC chief whip Mathole Motshekga has accused his party of “victimising the victims of a corrupt state” by taking disciplinary action against ANC members who voted for President Jacob Zuma to go.

Motshekga, who is also a member of the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC), has called for a special NEC meeting in the wake of the announcement by the ANC that it would discipline MPs who had voted to remove Zuma in Parliament.

“The ANC members are victims of a corrupt state and cannot be accused by the governing party and its government,” Motshekga told News24.

He said the disciplinary inquiry amounted to putting “honesty, integrity and transparency on trial”.

Motshekga was reacting to the ANC’s national working committee’s decision to discipline at least three ANC MPs who it said have publicly confirmed voting with the opposition in last Tuesday’s historic motion of no confidence against Zuma.

Party secretary general Gwede Mantashe announced the decision on Tuesday following the NWC meeting on Monday. He said the members who have publicly come out after the vote to say they voted with the opposition were “daring the party”.

READ MORE: ANC to discipline members who voted for Zuma to go

He compared them to a “fifth column” – a military term used to refer to infiltrators or collaborators with the enemy.

“You can’t have some members of the same army working against it, you can shoot other soldiers from behind. We cannot allow that and promote the notion of a fifth column in the ANC,” Mantashe said.

He further confirmed there was a proposal from the party’s NWC for former tourism minister Derek Hanekom to be removed as chair of the party’s disciplinary committee.

Hanekom and Pravin Gordhan, who were fired as ministers by Zuma during the “night of the long knives” reshuffle in March, together with MPs Mondli Gungubele and Makhosi Khoza have publicly stated they would vote with their conscience. They have also called for Zuma to step down.

“It would be grossly unfair to suggest that comrades face disciplinary action without looking at the root causes of their conduct,” Motshekga said.

ANC insiders have said the failure of the NEC to hold Zuma to account forced an estimated 30 to 40 “frustrated” MPs to break rank and support a motion of no confidence against the party leader - something that was until now seen as sacrilegious.

Divisions around Zuma’s leadership have deepened following last year’s Constitutional Court decision that he failed to uphold the Constitution by not paying back the money used on his Nkandla private home as recommended by the then public protector Thuli Madonsela.

'Serious introspection'

The Nkandla saga was also seen as part of the reasons the party suffered a 10% decline in electoral support during the local government elections last year.

Other controversies include his recent cabinet reshuffle without consulting the party’s top six and Madonsela’s State of Capture report that investigated Zuma’s friends the Guptas’ undue influence on his Cabinet and state owned entities. The leaked Gupta emails have further shown the extent of the siphoning of state funds.

ALSO READ: Gupta leaks; A collaborative investigation into state capture

Zuma has survived eight motions of no confidence and two attempts to recall him at the NEC.

Motshekga said the decision to discipline the MPs was so “grave”, it could not be left to party officials. Instead a special NEC meeting must be held. He said the ANC MPs had raised concerns by ANC members and society at large.

“The conduct of these comrades give us an opportunity to do serious introspection and to self-correct,” Motshekga said.

He also cautioned against the disciplinary inquiry being used to “settle succession battles”.

“The position now is not and cannot be the settlement of scores, but the restoration of unity and integrity to reconnect with the people who are the real owners of the ANC.”

Read more on:    anc  |  jacob zuma  |  mathole motshekga  |  corruption

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