ANC raps vote rebels for 'ill discipline'

2011-11-23 21:00

Johannesburg - The conduct of ANC MPs Ben Turok and Gloria Borman in not voting for the protection of state information bill in Parliament "smacks of ill-discipline", the party said on Wednesday.

The fact that the two did not vote would be handled by the party internally, the ANC said in a statement.

"The conduct of comrades like Ben Turok in raising their objections by abstaining and using the media smacks of ill-discipline and will be handled internally by the ANC."

It was reported on Wednesday that Turok, one of the ANC's leading free-thinkers and a veteran who played a big part in the writing of the 1955 Freedom Charter, slipped out of the Assembly as voting time approached.

Turok felt that more time was needed on the controversial legislation.

"It does affect the democracy we want and the constitution, so the ANC itself must go through an elaborate consideration of it," he told The Star newspaper.

"I made my decision as a matter of principle. I felt I could not participate in the voting," he added.

ANC spokesperson Keith Khoza said: "This falls outside the normal conduct of a senior ANC member like Ben Turok."

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

In an interview with the Cape Argus, Borman said she abstained because she believed that the fight against corruption could be hindered by the bill.

"First of all, I’m an ANC member and very proud of that fact. I feel that the ANC is totally committed to fighting corruption, and that is certainly my own passion too," the newspaper quoted her as saying.

"In the end, I abstained because I believe our fight against corruption can be hindered by this... I couldn’t vote for it, and couldn’t vote against it, so abstaining seemed the best route.

"I do not believe that this bill is the evil piece of legislation that it’s made out to be. The media - which is in a very powerful position - has not given it fair coverage," said Borman.

When asked if she expected disciplinary action by the ANC, Borman said: "Yes, I probably will".

Khoza said if the members were unsure or had objections there were internal channels they could have used.

Any Member of Parliament could have approached the ANC parliamentary study group, the chief whip, or the ANC caucus to raise the matter.

The party had not discussed what type of action would be taken against the two, said Khoza.

On Tuesday, the ANC majority drove the contentious protection of state information bil through the National Assembly, despite vehement protest in and outside Parliament.

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

The other abstention was that of Stanley Ntapane of the United Democratic Movement.

There were 34 ANC MPs absent from the National Assembly on Tuesday during the vote.

The ANC said it was convinced that the bill would play a constructive role in South Africa's constitutional democracy.

"We [ANC] believe that the construct of the legislation is in keeping with international practice and that it is in the interest of all South Africans that information that is in the hands of the state must be handled with care and proper accountability as is the norm all over the world," the party said.

It welcomed the bill but also noted the objections by some organisations, opposition parties and the media.

"It is on record that the ANC delayed the tabling of the bill to allow further consultations. These have resulted in 123 changes being effected in the bill," the ANC said.

It was satisfied that the public and civil society organisations were consulted and that it would have been more objective for the media and commentators to acknowledge that there was agreement on the bill except for the public interest clause.

"It is therefore mischievous not to highlight this reality," the ANC said.

  • Bob - 2011-11-23 19:22

    Just shows...they not all corrupt like the rest of you!

      Sidima - 2011-11-24 09:01

      Also shows how internal democracy is held in high regards...

  • Impi - 2011-11-23 21:28

    And all of this smacks of Dictatorship. Why can't an individual decide for themselves what they think is right or wrong? The neighbouring Dictator taught them well.

      John - 2011-11-23 21:53

      " The conduct of ANC MPs Ben Turok and Gloria Borman in not voting for the protection of state information bill in Parliament "smacks of RESISTANCE TO STALINISM!

      Schalk - 2011-11-23 23:50

      @Impi, quite correct. So, the MP's have to do what the Party wants them to do. They are now puppets in the hands of the Party top dogs. Where have I heard this kind of thing before? Oh, yes, that was with Hitler and the communistic block. Gwede Mantashe has at last succeeded in turning South Africa into a communistic state. One thing that I don't understand, have they not leart from the past? Or should I rather ask, have they not learnt at all? But with a Grade 8 leading the pack, what else can you expect?...

  • John - 2011-11-23 21:29

    Surely it's not unconstitutional to abstain from a vote..What happened to freedom of choice..

      sjaanbuchel - 2011-11-23 21:59

      The ANC clearly banned it! They're allowed to think with one brain only, collectively not individually! Any-one using his/her own brain is ill disciplined.

      Mike - 2011-11-24 06:39

      .... bringing new meaning to the phrase "One man, one vote".

      Never-apologize - 2011-11-24 09:03

      You lot really have no clue about parliament and how you get to be there in the first place. The did not apply to be there, the ANC invited them to be there and if they do not do what the party has asked them to do, they aught to be desciplined. Ask the DA, they will confirm this.

  • Gareth - 2011-11-23 21:31

    At the very least these people still have some semblance of a conscience. So by voicing his opinion, stating he is in disagreement and abstaining from the vote Mr Turok will be internally disciplined. Got to admire him for standing by what he believes and you have to see this for what it is and that is the ANC not particularly interested in democracy if their very members are "internally disciplined" for voicing their views.

  • bronson.wright1 - 2011-11-23 21:34

    we will never know the outcome of it

  • chrisjanbotha - 2011-11-23 21:36

    Those two has got nothing to hide... Since when do one have to follow like sheep?

      FerretGee - 2011-11-24 10:06

      Sadly, that is the state of AANC politics. It's toe the party line, do not be a free thinker and do not dare criticise from within. Democracy my arse!

  • velastardust - 2011-11-23 21:42

    Johannesburg - The conduct of ANC MPs Ben Turok and Gloria Borman in not voting for the protection of state information bill in Parliament "smacks of ill-discipline", the party said on Wednesday. NO it does not! It shows a smattering of intelligence amongst the otherwise brainless ANC. However, Turok and Borman are obviously not intelligent enough to leave the ANC. Shame!

  • velastardust - 2011-11-23 21:44

    By now all South Africans realise that 229 MPs stabbed this country in the back!

      laura.levatte - 2011-11-23 21:56

      U kidding right ? Most south africans have no clue WTF is going on

  • Neville - 2011-11-23 21:53

    They are people with BRAINS period

  • Ronald - 2011-11-23 21:53

    The action of these MPs is totally foreign to the ANC, as the decision they made was based on morals, their good conscience and integrity of which the other 229 members have none, as well as acting for the good of the people that pay their salaries. For the want of a better example, the ANC was made the new Board of Directors by the shareholders of a company of which the outgoing Board was fired because of racial malpractice. Now the Board assumes that it has the full right to abuse its powers, discipline the members of the board when fulfilling the wishes of the shareholders but not of the Board members, and allocating the dividends earned by the shareholders to themselves. Remember, the shareholders can bite back at any time when they are fed up enough.

  • trev2 - 2011-11-23 22:08

    No, not ill discipline. Just putting more emphasis on their own principles above blind loyalty to a party. Good for those two!

  • colin.dovey - 2011-11-23 22:11

    They (the ANC) will soon not be able to tolerate ANY freedom of expression....they created a monster, and will now have to live with it.

  • Vinesh - 2011-11-23 22:13

    Borman: "First of all, I’m an ANC member and very proud of that fact. I feel that the ANC is totally committed to fighting corruption, and that is certainly my own passion too," "In the end, I abstained because I believe our fight against corruption can be hindered by this..." ANC is serious about fighting corruption but voted for the bill???? What the hell is Borman about????

  • Cheryl - 2011-11-23 22:34

    whats the point of the ANC bananas voting if they are all forced to nod their heads like sheep. (it also seems this is what they expect from their followers) what is next ? polsmoor for those that differ...??? Democracy f...d. Well done ..YOU FOUGHT FOR DEMOCRACY , NOW YOU DONT WANT IT?????????

  • zaid.personal - 2011-11-23 22:39

    In other words, if you're a member of the ANC, you are required to leave your brains at the door when you enter the room and tow the party line. Independent thought will not be encouraged. It's too revolutionary an ideal for them to grasp it.

  • Rosiland - 2011-11-23 23:03

    Please do me a favour the ANC has spoiled the country and it is just a matter of time before we are the last African country to be killed by corruption, fraud and communism - how sad what a beautiful country this WAS now we will be another Rwanda, Zim or Libya it is sick that they get away with this !!!!

  • braamc - 2011-11-24 06:23

    The cookie crumbles

  • Chris - 2011-11-24 07:56

    They breached caucus discipline and thus must take the consequences - it is established practice in the Westminister system in all countries it is used. Whether or not they want to follow party policy is another issue entirely.

  • Adam - 2011-11-24 07:58

    It is a shame that being an anc mp you have to give up your basic human rights. I thought that is what they fought for. They must know that they may walk on two legs and sit in chairs, but can NEVER,NEVER become mister Jones

  • Nishan - 2011-11-24 08:38

    It seems the ANC only considers it democracy if it works in their favor. Why have an option for the MPs to abstain from voting if they going to get disciplined for it? Don't they have a right to choose their actions? or does being part of the ANC mean blindly following what the party wants?

  • Musa - 2011-11-24 08:48

    The 2 comrades must be disciplined for failing to carry out the mandate of the ANC. These comrades did not go to parliament on their own, but were deployed by the ANC. There are internal practices they should have followed rather than acting in this ill-disciplined manner. They should have raised their concerns in the ANC caucus than defying the party's mandate. Even talking about this issue in the media rather than approaching party structures, amounts to ill-discipline. We all joined the ANC voluntarily, therefore no one if forced to be an ANC member. Forward with revolutionary discipline in the ANC, forward!

      graham.poulter - 2011-11-24 15:49

      Why does the ANC deploy people to parliament when it could save millions a year in salaries by deploying robots to push the buttons?

      Marius - 2011-11-24 22:09

      So if the ANC says you must jump into a fire, you must do it?

  • Dane - 2011-11-24 08:55

    So what the ANC are basically saying are, if you are in the ANC, there is no such thing as FREEDOM of CHOICE. Seems like a rigged vote if MP's are not allowed to make there own choices in fear of being punished for it.

      Musa - 2011-11-24 09:20

      ANC MP's must voice their objections in the ANC caucus. Once there has been an internal vote and your view is not supported by the majority, you must accept that and carry out the mandate of the party. It is as easy as that!

      graham.poulter - 2011-11-24 15:52

      @Musa: Disagree. To force any person to vote against their convictions is anti-democratic, whether its a citizen at a voting booth or a member of parliament.

  • ajtdav - 2011-11-24 10:20

    and yet the ANC will still win elections hands down...great country, great system, great people! (Sarcasm Attached for those who are slow...)

  • Ditantane - 2011-11-24 10:21

    two words, sell out

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