Non-voting info bill MP was ill: ANC

2012-05-03 22:06

Johannesburg - ANC MP Salam Abram was absent from Parliament during the vote on the protection of state information bill because he was unwell, the party's chief whip said on Thursday.

"This was not in transgression of any rule and was therefore not charged," Mathole Motshekga said in a statement.

He was reacting to a newspaper report that Abram was not being disciplined along with his fellow ANC MPs Ben Turok and Gloria Borman, who did not vote for the bill.

Turok, seen as an African National Congress free-thinker and a veteran who contributed to the writing of the 1955 Freedom Charter, slipped out of the assembly as voting time approached.

Borman was the sole ANC member who abstained in the voting on the bills.

Unfortunate comments

According to the report, Abram spoke out against the bill and said he was not even interviewed during the internal probe into ANC MPs who failed to vote for the bill.

"Yes, I have problems with it, but we’ll see what comes out of the NCOP [National Council of Provinces] process," he was quoted as saying.

Motshekga said he was concerned by Abram's comments and had met him earlier on Thursday to discuss the matter.

Abram admitted that his comments were "unfortunate" and in future would refrain from making them.

"Any attempts by the media to create further divisions within the ANC caucus by suggesting that the disciplinary processes of the ANC were conducted in bad faith or displayed gross unfairness, must be viewed with scepticism and dismissed as such," said Motshekga.

The disciplinary proceedings against Turok and Borman were postponed on Wednesday.

The ANC's national disciplinary committee (NDC) chairperson Derek Hanekom said the two MPs had asked to be able to discuss the charges with the chief national presenter.

"These discussions are now underway and the NDC will await the outcome thereof. No new date for the hearings has been set at this stage," Hanekom said in a statement.

  • Smile - 2012-05-03 22:39

    Shame on the ANC! They are going to silence the media! Destroy Freedom of speech! Destroy our constitution! Destroy our democracy! THOSE MP's WHO VOTED FOR THE BILL SHOULD BE ASHAMED!!! YOU ARE DISGUSTING COWARDS WHO CANNOT STAND UP FOR OUR DEMOCRACY!!! YOU ARE SUB HUMAN FILTH!!! YOU ARE ALL CORRUPT!!!

      Lerato - 2012-05-04 08:25

      @Smile have you bothered reading the draft?

      Smile - 2012-05-04 09:23

      Yes I have! And in it's current form it will sink us!

      Lerato - 2012-05-04 10:24

      Am glad you did and now that positive criticism. Am sure you will\r\nagree with me that not the whole document is piece of crap, there are\r\nother parts that are worthwhile. Which particular sections do say must\r\nbe scrapped or revamped? The reason why I am saying this is we had an\r\nargument at work and all we had was hearsay, we attended a white paper\r\ndiscussion and had the opportunity to go through the draft and I\r\npromise you there are sections that are a gem. I am in the financial\r\nsector and our industry is well regulated, the media is against such\r\nregulations, if I mishandle an investor's portfolio that will be my\r\ndownfall on the other hand if a journalist have a big article on the\r\nfront page calling you a murderer and rapist, all they have to do is\r\nretract the story on page 6 of the next edition in a 2cm retraction\r\ncomment. All I am saying like any other sector in this contry the\r\nmedia must be held accountable for their actions.

  • mandla.ngubane - 2012-05-05 11:26

    Hope dat de chairperson of NDC wl apply de same agression, impercience nd not willing 2 listen attitue as he did wth de youth league. We want 2 c consistancy, We r watching wth intrest.

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