Suspended ANC MP Mervyn Dirks loses urgent court bid over Scopa membership

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Mervyn Dirks lost his urgent bid to be allowed back on to the Select Committee on Public Accounts for a meeting.
Mervyn Dirks lost his urgent bid to be allowed back on to the Select Committee on Public Accounts for a meeting.
Misheck Makora
  • Mervyn Dirks lost his urgent bid to be allowed back on to Scopa for a meeting. 
  • His urgent application to the Western Cape High Court was heard hours before the meeting. 
  • The meeting was set to discuss claims that President Cyril Ramaphosa did not pass on information about the use of public funds for ANC campaigning to authorities.

ANC MP Mervyn Dirks lost his urgent bid to be allowed back on to the Select Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) for a meeting on Tuesday.

His urgent application to the Western Cape High Court was heard hours before the meeting. 

Judge Andre la Grange ruled the matter was not urgent and struck it off the roll, with costs. 

The meeting was set to discuss claims that President Cyril Ramaphosa did not pass on information about the ANC's use of public funds for its campaigning to authorities.

Dirks wrote to the chairperson of Scopa, Mkhuleko Hlengwa, requesting a probe into Ramaphosa's conduct.

He refused to withdraw the request - and was suspended from the ANC by the party's chief whip in Parliament, Pemmy Majodina. 

He was accused of "unbecoming conduct" and shut out of Scopa activities, including the WhatsApp group.

READ | Scopa has mandate to probe Ramaphosa's remarks

This followed the leaking of an audio recording, in which Ramaphosa is purportedly heard telling the ANC's national executive committee about his knowledge of the use of public funds for internal party campaigning, and even encouraging the cover-up of such activities.

Dirks filed an urgent application that he be allowed to attend the meeting in his capacity as a member of Scopa. He said that, as the committee whip, he carried an important swing vote.

His lawyer, advocate Nikiwe Nyathi, insisted that Majodina acted unlawfully by suspending him from the committee.

Nyathi submitted that only the majority party's national working committee, national executive committee, provincial executive committee or provincial working committee could suspend Dirks. And any work done until this alleged illegality was fixed would be unlawful, and would require repeated visits to the court. 

The ANC's lawyer, advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, said the ANC had the right to place its members on any committee of its choosing, when it wanted to. 

READ | Scopa will not shelve suspended ANC MP Dirks’s letter

In the leaked recording, 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."

The Presidency did not file papers in reply at all, and the court heard this may have been due to the short notice. 


We want to hear your views on the news. Subscribe to News24 to be part of the conversation in the comments section of this article.


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Nappies, they cost too much
7% - 304 votes
Formula and food, it's getting so expensive
18% - 810 votes
Creche and school fees are a struggle every month
76% - 3487 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
15.86
+1.4%
Rand - Pound
19.79
+0.3%
Rand - Euro
16.79
+0.3%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.18
+0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.12
+1.0%
Gold
1,841.55
+1.4%
Silver
21.92
+2.4%
Palladium
2,008.00
-0.4%
Platinum
966.50
+3.0%
Brent Crude
109.11
-2.6%
Top 40
61,726
-1.3%
All Share
68,246
-1.2%
Resource 10
71,337
-0.6%
Industrial 25
75,802
-1.3%
Financial 15
15,729
-1.9%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE