No witch hunt against rebel ANC MPs - Ramaphosa

2017-08-23 17:17
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa (File, Lulama Zenzile, Gallo Images, Die Burger)

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa (File, Lulama Zenzile, Gallo Images, Die Burger)

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Cape Town - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa claims "there is no witch hunt" to root out ANC MPs who voted for a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma via secret ballot.

Ramaphosa fielded questions during a question session in Parliament on Wednesday about the fallout from the motion against Zuma two weeks ago, where at least 30 ANC MPs voted for the motion.

Read: ANC to discipline members who voted for Zuma to go

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said last week that at least four MPs, who openly said they would vote with their conscience, would be disciplined by the party.

"As far as I'm concerned, there is no witch hunt in the African National Congress," Ramaphosa told the National Assembly.

"The vote has happened. Like any other political party, it has its own internal processes that must be respected, just as we respect internal processes of other parties.

"Let the ANC continue with its own internal processes."

'Allow the ANC the space'

Economic Freedom Fighters MP Hope Mhlope disagreed with Ramaphosa in a follow-up question.

She cited Makhosi Khoza's removal as a portfolio committee chairperson and calls for Derek Hanekom to be removed as ANC disciplinary committee chairperson, as evidence of a witch hunt.

Also read: ANC acts to remove Hanekom as disciplinary chair

Ramaphosa repeated his first answer.

"It would be very exciting for all honourable members sitting here to hear the internal doings of the ANC, where we would outline what's happening with honourable Derek Hanekom, or this one or that.

"But we are not in a space or time to do that. Allow the ANC the space to handle its own internal processes."

Ramaphosa was initially asked about his knowledge of Speaker Baleka Mbete's decision prior to her announcing that the motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma would be via secret ballot.

He shut the question down, saying he was consulted on the motion's scheduling as stipulated by the rules but had no knowledge of Mbete's decision prior to its announcement.

"As leader of government business, I was not consulted on how the vote would be conducted.

'We are South Africans first'

"I was very tempted on a number of occasions to find out what the decision of the speaker was.

"Each time I saw her, I kept looking at her posture, to see whether there was some indication of her decision.

"One time, I should confess, I said: 'Speaker, you'll remember the Constitutional Court said you have a decision to make.'

"She gave me a very, very strange look, which basically told me 'it's none of your business, I will decide whichever way'."

In the end, he found out about the decision, like everybody else, when it was announced on television.

Congress of the People MP Diedre Carter asked Ramaphosa whether he thought, as chairperson of Parliament's constitutional committee when it was passed in 1996 if he thought the ANC's constitution came first.

"We have often said... that we are all South Africans. We've subjected ourselves to the Constitution of the republic. It is the supreme law of the country.

"Our country comes first. We are South Africans first, and thereafter we are everything else."

Read more on:    anc  |  cyril ­ramaphosa  |  gwede ­mantashe  |  jacob zuma  |  parliament

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