More than 50% of ANC caucus not happy with current state - Hanekom

Derek Hanekom (File, Jaco Marais, Netwerk24)
Derek Hanekom (File, Jaco Marais, Netwerk24)

Cape Town - African National Congress MP Derek Hanekom says it is safe to say that more than 50% of ANC MPs are unhappy with the current state of affairs in the country.

Hanekom was asked a question while sitting in the audience by journalist Ranjeni Munusamy on the upcoming motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma during a Daily Maverick event in Cape Town.

Taking the question, and without speaking for individual colleagues, Hanekom was open that the majority of ANC MPs were not happy.

"I would safely say that more than 50% of ANC MPs are very worried about what's going on, and they believe that some sort of action should be taken, and taken soon.

"The question is what kind of action will there be?"

Hanekom would not reveal what he or his colleagues' thought process was, or how they would vote on Tuesday next week, but said that the issue was becoming harder to confront for many.

'It is that much more difficult to vote'

"The last motion of no confidence, many of us found it very difficult to vote against it," he said.

"We knew that there was a national executive committee coming shortly after it, in November.

"So we did what we thought was the right thing to do." There is now another motion of confidence on Tuesday.

"For many of us, it is just that much more difficult to go into that session and vote against this motion of no confidence," he said before finishing.

Hanekom said that the majority of them were decent civil servants trying to do good, but that a minority of individuals in powerful positions were responsible for the stranglehold over the country at the moment.

"My assessment of the situation of the people in Parliament is that the majority of ANC members in Parliament are good decent people with integrity, thinking people, who do not like what is going on in our country.

"They really are deeply worried with what is happening in our country, and deeply disappointed with the leadership of the African National Congress."

It was not that they wanted to break ranks, or don't regard themselves as members of the ANC.

Hanekom said a lot would obviously depend on whether the Speaker of Parliament decided on an open or secret ballot.

An open ballot would likely see the motion postponed, he believed.

State capture tentacles run deep

The scheduled panellists on the night were former finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas.

Gordhan did say Parliament learnt through the Nkandla saga what not to do going forward.

Both men were not as forthcoming about the upcoming motion.

They spoke openly about the extent of state capture and how damaging the apparent looting has become for South Africa. 

"As the Constitutional Court pointed out, Parliament has a particular role to play in a constitutional democracy. I think there is a new vitality Parliament is enjoying and members are beginning to find their energy."

He said the tentacles of state capture also reached deeply in terms of some parliamentary members, and those people would have to be held to account one day as well.

Jonas meanwhile said the #GuptaLeaks made it very clear that a large amount of work was still needed.

Local, provincial state capture must also be probed. There were a few areas they still needed to come to grips with and "join the dots".

Firstly, they need to determine how the project of state capture has effectively sabotaged growth, and what it means for unemployment.

Secondly, local municipalities and provinces have not been looked at sufficiently. The focus has all been national.

"I would think we have a Gupta-lookalike in any local state and municipality."

The last area he would suggest needs to be looked at is how state capture has affected other arms of government.

He said it needed to be determined how vulnerable the criminal justice system and the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa were.

"We are not there. But don't assume that we cannot get there. We need to be vigilant as a country."

Ultimately, there should be no holy cows when it comes to state capture, he finished.

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