ANC suspends Mervyn Dirks for 'unbecoming conduct' following his call to investigate Ramaphosa

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ANC MP Mervyn Dirks.
ANC MP Mervyn Dirks.
Misheck Makora
  • The ANC has dismissed an MP who has been at the forefront of calling for an investigation into Ramaphosa's leaked audio in which the president appeared to confess that he misused public funds for use in his CR17 campaign. 
  • ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina informed ANC MP Mervyn Dirks of his precautionary suspension on Thursday. 
  • Dirks told News24 that the suspension did not surprise him. 

ANC Member of Parliament (MP) Mervyn Dirks, who last week called for President Cyril Ramaphosa to be investigated for his alleged confession around his CR17 donations, has been suspended by the party with immediate effect. 

Dirks was informed of his suspension in a letter dated 20 January 2022 written to him by ANC Chief Whip Pemmy Majodina. 

In the letter, titled "Notice of precautionary suspension and intention to institute disciplinary proceedings", Majodina informed Dirks as the head of the ANC caucus in Parliament that she intended to initiate disciplinary proceedings against him for conduct unbecoming of an ANC MP. 

"This further serves to notify you of the intention of the Office of the Chief Whip to place you on precautionary suspension with immediate effect in order for the necessary investigations to take place," the suspension letter stated. 

During the period of suspension, Dirks had been instructed to no longer carry out his duties as the whip of the ANC Scopa Study Group and as the Questions Whip of the ANC Parliamentary Caucus. 

READ | Ramaphosa leaked audio: ANC parliamentary caucus attempts to muzzle MP pushing for Scopa probe

Majodina also said Dirks' membership of the ANC's strategy group would also be suspended, while his Scopa membership would be withdrawn. 

"You will be removed from caucus WhatsApp groups, and you are specifically prohibited from engaging on any media platform in any way whatsoever regarding this matter," the letter stated. 

Dirks would, in the next seven working days, be provided with further details on when his disciplinary proceedings would commence. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for a Nationa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Speaking to News24 on Thursday, Dirks said he was not shocked and expected the suspension, but declined to comment further on the matter. 

Last week, Dirks wrote to Hlengwa requesting that he investigate Ramaphosa over a leaked recording in which the latter appeared to confess that he misused public funds for use in his CR17 campaign. 

READ | ANC 'did not care or they slept on the job or they had no clue what to do' - Zondo's report

Dirks wrote to Hlengwa after a leaked recording surfaced in which Ramaphosa can be heard saying, "investigations will reveal that a lot of public money was used (to fund political campaigns). I said, in this case, I am prepared to fall on the sword, so that the CR17 campaign, yes, should be the only one that's looked at and not the others because the image of the African National Congress is what I am most concerned about".

On Monday night, Dirks was summoned by the ANC's strategy grouping led by Majodina and asked to explain why he had written to Hlengwa instead of first discussing the matter with the ANC caucus. 

MPs with intimate knowledge of how the meeting proceeded told News24 that Dirks was warned during the meeting that this was not the first time that he had conducted himself in a manner that brought the party into disrepute and as such should retract his request to Scopa. 

In a letter dated 17 January 2022 to Dirks, seen by News24, Majodina instructed the MP to withdraw his letter to Hlengwa and to share his withdrawal letter with her in order to prove his compliance with her directive. 

On the same day, Dirks was understood to have written his own letter to the ANC's strategy grouping and demanded that they explain and supply him with reasons as to why he was being instructed to withdraw the letter. 

Given his refusal to back down, the ANC caucus, following consultation with the party leadership, then took the decision to place Dirks under precautionary suspension. 

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