Non-voting info bill MP was ill: ANC

2012-05-03 22:06
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2012-04-26 12:14

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Johannesburg - ANC MP Salam Abram was absent from Parliament during the vote on the protection of state information bill because he was unwell, the party's chief whip said on Thursday.

"This was not in transgression of any rule and was therefore not charged," Mathole Motshekga said in a statement.

He was reacting to a newspaper report that Abram was not being disciplined along with his fellow ANC MPs Ben Turok and Gloria Borman, who did not vote for the bill.

Turok, seen as an African National Congress free-thinker and a veteran who contributed to the writing of the 1955 Freedom Charter, slipped out of the assembly as voting time approached.

Borman was the sole ANC member who abstained in the voting on the bills.

Unfortunate comments

According to the report, Abram spoke out against the bill and said he was not even interviewed during the internal probe into ANC MPs who failed to vote for the bill.

"Yes, I have problems with it, but we’ll see what comes out of the NCOP [National Council of Provinces] process," he was quoted as saying.

Motshekga said he was concerned by Abram's comments and had met him earlier on Thursday to discuss the matter.

Abram admitted that his comments were "unfortunate" and in future would refrain from making them.

"Any attempts by the media to create further divisions within the ANC caucus by suggesting that the disciplinary processes of the ANC were conducted in bad faith or displayed gross unfairness, must be viewed with scepticism and dismissed as such," said Motshekga.

The disciplinary proceedings against Turok and Borman were postponed on Wednesday.

The ANC's national disciplinary committee (NDC) chairperson Derek Hanekom said the two MPs had asked to be able to discuss the charges with the chief national presenter.

"These discussions are now underway and the NDC will await the outcome thereof. No new date for the hearings has been set at this stage," Hanekom said in a statement.
- SAPA
Read more on:    anc  |  gloria borman  |  ben turok  |  info bill
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