Limpopo speaker’s suspension pits SACP against the ANC ... again

2015-08-17 17:35
Speaker of the Provincial Legislature Merriam Ramadwa

Speaker of the Provincial Legislature Merriam Ramadwa

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Cracks are starting to show in the ANC tripartite alliance in Limpopo where the South African Communist Party has accused the governing party of pursuing a “factional agenda” after suspending the speaker of the provincial legislature.

Merriam Ramadwa was served with a letter of “temporary suspension” from the ANC and ordered to stay away from her workplace.

Party leaders cited Ramadwa’s “failure or refusal to execute instructions of the ANC” as well as “gross insubordination to the structures of the ANC” as leading to the decision to recall her.

Those close to Ramadwa previously told City Press that she was being ousted because she would not allow political interference in the legislature and that she made decisions based on organisational policy.

The ANC indicated that it would remove Ramadwa, a member of the provincial executive committee of both the SACP and ANC, and have her replaced by a newly sworn in member of the provincial legislature, Polly Boshielo.

In a letter delivered to her by hand on Saturday, Ramadwa was instructed by the ANC in Limpopo not to enter her workplace at the provincial legislature in Lebowakgomo while under suspension.

The SACP said barring Ramadwa from her workplace was an “attack against our country’s democratic constitutional dispensation, something that comes to characterise the values and ethos of the liberation alliance”.

In a statement released by the secretary of the SACP in the Alpheus Malivha district, Rudzani Ramugumo, the party spoke out on the dangers of purging political comrades and added that this would increase “factional tendencies”, which is the reason the previous leadership of the ANC in Limpopo was disbanded.

It added that Ramadwa’s suspension was worrying on “constitutional and political imperatives” and said that a political party suspending the speaker of the legislature was tantamount to a coup d’état as there were clear procedures and guidelines against this in the Constitution.

“On the political front, the ANC provincial executive committee’s inaction against the report of political instability in other parts of the province like Vhembe District Municipality clearly signal a factional agenda in dealing with issues.

“[The PEC could have] followed up on the findings in Paradigm Forensic Services’ report on Vhembe District Municipality, an epicentre of capital accumulation and political plunder by the elite and the privileged encircled on better life for few and entrenching tenderpreneurship.”

Ramugumo said the suspension came “as a shock to the SACP” because it happened a few days after the Auditor-General gave Ramadwa an unqualified audit opinion for the legislature.

“Very few state institutions have recorded these achievements in the province and no consequences were meted out on those affected either as accounting officers or culprits,” Ramugumo said.

The ANC said Ramadwa would be served with a charge sheet within 30 days of her receipt of her letter of suspension.

The party said the implications of her suspension were that “her membership is temporarily suspended and she cannot act as a member including at a branch” and “she cannot represent the ANC in any capacity including as a public representative”.

Ramadwa’s suspension comes at a time when the party in the province is beleaguered with allegations of factionalism, disunity and purging as well as broad criticism of the current political leadership.

Ramadwa could not be reached for comment.

Read more on:    limpopo  |  anc  |  sacp
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