ANC members bound by policies: NEC

2011-11-28 14:01

Johannesburg - The ANC's national executive committee agreed that people join the party voluntarily and are bound by its policies, secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Monday.

He was referring to the two African National Congress MPs, Ben Turok and Gloria Borman, who did not vote for the protection of state information bill in Parliament last week.

"The conduct of members acting as free agents is a non-option. Equally public representatives of the ANC are holding public offices at the instance of the ANC," Mantashe told reporters in Johannesburg.

"They are therefore bound by policy directives of the ANC and not their whims and thoughts."

It was reported that Turok, one of the ANC's leading free-thinkers and a veteran who contributed to the writing of the 1955 Freedom Charter, slipped out of the National Assembly as voting time approached.

Borman was the sole ANC MP who abstained from voting for the bill.

No free agents in ANC

ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said: "There are no free agents in the ANC. Members are bound by the [party's] constitution."

Mantashe said he did not know what action would be taken against the two MPs as there were processes to follow within Parliament.

Last week, the ANC majority drove the contentious protection of state information bill through the National Assembly, despite protests in and outside Parliament.

The so-called "secrecy bill" was adopted with 229 to 107 votes by the 400-member chamber, and two abstentions.

Mantashe said the bill was about classification of state information, not about the media.

"The bill is a security bill, not a media bill. It's about information peddlers rather than about whistleblowers," he said.

The bill has been referred to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) for concurrence.

On Thursday, the NCOP formed an ad hoc committee on the bill.

In terms of a motion adopted by the House, the committee will report to the council by April 8.

As was the case when a National Assembly ad hoc committee dealt with the bill, the ANC will have a comfortable majority in the NCOP committee.

  • DanielDennett - 2011-11-28 14:08

    Gwede, they acted hopefully out of conscience which you cannot command however you look at it.

      Impi - 2011-11-28 14:55

      @Daniel. This is the African way. We first fight for freedom then become slaves to our Freedom Fighters and only after a revolution anywhere from between 30 and 40 years do we really free ourself from the new oppressors.

      DanielDennett - 2011-11-28 15:16

      Impi, it irks the proponents of the bill that some within the party are against it in it's present form. A lot of the ANC party members are well aware what an insult to our democracy this bill is as it stands and have made it known. Why should it not be healthy to have disagreements within the party? Many still understand what they fought for and still want to preserve those values.

      Grant - 2011-11-28 15:28

      @Impi. A very insightful comment and succinctly put. Great to see such a comment being made by a black man, if a white man had made the identical comment, a sector of this forum would have been screaming 'racist' and 'stereotyping'. Well done.

      Impi - 2011-11-28 15:42

      @Daniel. I am very disturbed by this vote. I was hoping there would be more that would stand up for us. But as you already know, my big bug bear is how this government is assembled and who serves as Ministers. I know I harp on this everyday, but please tell me what Van Schalkwyk is doing in there? I'm not old enough to know, but wasn't he part of the cabinet that voted the first Bill in somewhere in the 80's? Can you remember Daniel?

      Impi - 2011-11-28 18:01

      @Leonard. Pity we don't have a few more old men with principles in there. But isn't Van Schalkwyk about 134 by now?

      Impi - 2011-11-28 19:53

      @Leonard. You can safely assume this would never have gotten as far as it did with him in charge. It would never have started at all. We would never have come to the mess we are in now, if he was there. It is very disturbing to think what a long road we still have to get to our freedom. My worry is how many more lives will we loose in the process? This kind of dictatorial behaviour has lasted 30 years in Zimbabwe and 12 of those years with the consent of Mbeki and Zuma. Maybe the best is not to think along those lines and fight as hard against this Bill as we can and hope we see change soon.

      Sheda - 2011-11-28 20:11

      EXCEPT THAT THIS BILL IS NOT ANC POLICY, not for Mandela, Lithuli, Tambo, etc. So how exactly did policy change when it was not policy to change it?????????????????????????????????/

  • ronald.stilianou - 2011-11-28 14:11

    Then what was the whole point of driving out there to go and vote?, they could have done the whole thing without any cANCer idiots being there.

      Impi - 2011-11-28 14:50

      This was funny Ronald. Yes, why bother to vote if you know what the outcome is going to be! Mugabe style!

  • Ari - 2011-11-28 14:34

    DeMOCKracy in action! Still locked into tribalism and hive mentality. Even Credo Mutwa called them "worker-ants"

  • Makalakatje - 2011-11-28 17:15

    The protection of state information Bill is far much better than rendition camps, detention without trial and summary execution of opponents advocated and promoted by some leading Western powers. The proponents of free speech have little to say about the democratic demagogues masquerading as civilized countries but waste no time in bashing a democratic process through which contestation of views and ideas are presented and won without coercion. The media knows very well that there are various pieces of legislation that have been enacted by parliament to give more voice to the media like the Access of Information Act and various institution of government like Public protector, Auditor General to keep the government in check and yet this white appeasers and international attention seekers continue to peddle lies about the government intention on the Protection of state Information Bill. How can you hide corruption if you have Access of Information Act that give media and everyone else an access to whatever information held by the state . Which country in the world does not classify state information , see how USA demonized Julian Assange of Wiki leaks and yet we ARE told by the fools in these country NOT CLASSIFY our own state secrets , what is good to Americans is not good to Africans American can classify state information but Africans are hiding corruption

      Gareth - 2011-11-28 17:32

      Do yourself a favour - Google 'The Patriot Act' in America, and see how much Human Rights they have now. No privacy, wire taps, phone taps, Camera's everywhere, and it all started with a simple "We need to see what you are emailing/writing in letters/sms'ing" (RICA?!), DOn't be so naive to think that nothing will come of this, Once you taste power, you might understand how easy it is to want more and more, but untill you've expereinced it, Kindly do more research and gain a higher knowledge base before attempting to argue the 'pro's' of this legislation. On another note, Using big words doesn't make you sound intelligent when your grammer is horrific. I'm just saying.

  • Makalakatje - 2011-11-28 17:39

    @ Gareth Never claimed to be English , i am trying . I am sure you understand Sepedi and you can write it better than me.

  • Archie - 2011-12-03 11:49

    Democracy allows every person their opinion and beliefs.It allows you to vote against something you see as bad policy even in you own party. Communism allows you nothing but the ruling parties directives, it does not allow dissent, Now we can see who runs the ANC and how they still think with their communist ideology.SO kick your dissenters out and let them join a real DEmocratic party,the screens. the people can be fooled but not to often

  • Archie - 2011-12-03 11:51

    apologies for( the screens) beginners error

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