Mthembu mulls quitting caucus after December - report

2017-09-10 12:00
ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu (Leon Sadiki, City Press)

ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu (Leon Sadiki, City Press)

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Cape Town - African National Congress chief whip Jackson Mthembu is considering stepping down from his position as head of the party's Parliament caucus after its elective conference in December, a report has said.

Mthembu, who was appointed to the position in March 2016, told the Sunday Times this week that he has not spent enough time with his family in the last 23 years.

He also said the failed no-confidence vote against Zuma in August has created a "toxic space" between ruling party MPs, heightened by the leadership race.

A divorce from his first wife and a 32-year-old son in jail has played on his thoughts as he has aged, he said.

The 59-year-old lamented the amount of time he spent away from home during the struggle, and wants to make amends while he is "still alive".

He will still be a member of the party, just less senior, and said new leadership would have to attend to the toxicity left in the party by factional battles.

'How do you probe a secret ballot?'

Ramaphosa was very open about his support for Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa's claim to the ANC presidency.

He told News24 this week that Ramaphosa had all the qualities to turn the ANC around, and wouldn't be deterred by "dirty tricks".

- Read more: I didn't think we could get so low - Mthembu on 'sleaze'

Mthembu also said he didn't think the party would hound MPs who had voted against President Jacob Zuma in the motion of no confidence via secret ballot.

"How do you probe a secret ballot? Make me wiser," he laughed.

"The secretary general [Gwede Mantashe] has spoken on this matter, and I will take the line of the SG. We are not an organisation that parades people before lie detectors."

'Hurt' by broken party line

He admitted he had been "hurt" that the party line had been broken.

The party though should take a better approach in understanding the issues and have political discussion on the matter.

It would mean that, in future, it wouldn't matter if a vote is conducted via secret ballot or not, he said.

He maintained that ousting Zuma before the time on an opposition motion would have been detrimental to the country.

The party's national executive committee is due to meet at the end of September, where it will discuss among other things, the way forward for possible disciplinary measures for errant MPs.

Read more on:    anc  |  jackson mthembu

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