ANC divisions played out in portfolio committee meeting

2017-08-15 20:27
Dr Makhosi Khoza chairing a meeting of the portfolio committee on public service and administration. (Jan Gerber, News24)

Dr Makhosi Khoza chairing a meeting of the portfolio committee on public service and administration. (Jan Gerber, News24)

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Cape Town – A week after some ANC MPs voted for an opposition motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma, the division in the ruling party continued to emerged in a portfolio committee meeting.

Five ANC MPs sent a letter to ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu, stating that they will not attend the portfolio committee on public service and administration, chaired by Dr Makhosi Khoza, an outspoken critic of Zuma’s leadership.

Mthembu, in turn, said these MPs will be subjected to a disciplinary process.

The letter to Mthembu, signed by Zephroma Dlamini-Dubazana, Madala Ntombela, Mervyn Dirks, Wilma Newhoudt-Druchen and Regina Lesoma refers to the ANC’s rules on conduct expected of its members.

"We strongly object to be led by Dr. M. Khoza as the chairperson of the committee and member of the Study Group since it is our view that she has violated the ANC rule mentioned above," reads the letter.

"Furthermore, we as the Study Group members have taken the decision to suspend all Study Group / Portfolio Committee meetings until the conduct of Dr. M. Khoza is addressed."

The study group refers to the ANC members on a specific portfolio committee.

Khoza and Nyami Booi were the only ANC MPs that attended the committee meeting on Tuesday, where Minister of Public Service and Administration Faith Muthambi was supposed to address allegations of misuse of funds and nepotism.

Muthambi did not pitch for the meeting.

Aslo read: Faith-less committee will have Muthambi pay for her absence

After the meeting, Booi confirmed that Mthembu instructed him to attend the meeting. He also said Lesoma, the ANC whip in the committee, asked all the MPs to attend.


'Gross ill-discipline'

Khoza said she didn’t want to comment on the letter, as it was not delivered to her.

She said Lesoma wouldn’t have attended the meeting, as her mother is sick, and it seemed that somebody signed the letter on her behalf.

Asked if she believes the boycott had something to do with her stance in the run-up to the motion of no confidence, she said, "It actually does".

She based this on the messages she has since received from colleagues not prepared to be chaired by someone with a "moral conscience".

In a statement released shortly after the meeting, Mthembu said study groups do not have the authority to suspend any work they are deployed to do and he made it clear that they were expected to attend the meeting.

"Therefore, the decision to boycott today’s [Tuesday] portfolio committee meeting by some members amount to gross ill-discipline.

"Whatever their grievance, real or imagined, in relation to the chairperson of the committee is a matter to be dealt with by the organisation which has deployed all of us," he said, adding that the ANC is dealing with Khoza through its constitutional processes.

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

He said the five MPs will be referred to the ANC caucus disciplinary committee.

The portfolio committee meeting took place while ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe told the media the ANC is going to discipline at least three MPs who have publicly admitted that they voted in support of the motion of no confidence. This includes Khoza.

Read more on:    anc  |  jackson mthembu  |  makhosi khoza

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