ANC caucus slams Supra Mahumapelo over Mkhwebane support, says party hasn't taken a stance

06 February 2020 - 18:45 By THABO MOKONE
ANC deputy secretary-general Jesse Duarte has cautioned the party's MPs against making public pronouncements on the fitness of the public protector to hold office until their caucus formulates a position on the matter..File photo.
ANC deputy secretary-general Jesse Duarte has cautioned the party's MPs against making public pronouncements on the fitness of the public protector to hold office until their caucus formulates a position on the matter..File photo.
Image: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Mohau Mofokeng

ANC deputy secretary Jessie Duarte has cautioned the party's MPs against making public pronouncements on the fitness of the public protector to hold office until their caucus formulates a position on the matter.

Duarte, along with ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina, told journalists on Thursday that they had advised their MPs not to publicly articulate their personal views on whether Adv Busisiwe Mkhwebane should be retained or removed from office, as the party's caucus has not yet held a discussion to formulate a view on the matter.

This comes after National Assembly speaker Thandi Modise resolved to refer a DA-sponsored motion calling for Mkhwebane's fitness to hold office to be tested, which could result in her being removed from her job.

Parties represented in the National Assembly have until Friday to submit proposed names to serve on a three-member independent panel, that would decide on the merits of the DA motion against Mkhwebane.

In terms of parliamentary rules on the removal of heads of bodies such as the public protector, a judge may also be appointed to the panel in consultation with the Chief Justice.

In the event that the panel approves the DA motion, a special parliamentary committee would be instituted to conduct a formal inquiry against Mkhwebane.

But last week, ANC MP and former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo stunned when he told journalists that the ANC would never support any motion proposed by the DA, adding that Mkhwebane was doing “a marvellous job.”

Duarte and Majodina said at a political education workshop of  their parliamentary caucus, which Mahumapelo also attended, they made it clear to him and all their MPs that such behaviour was out of order because the party had no formal position on the matter.

“The ANC has not discussed where we stand, so we can't give you a definite answer as the organisation. Once the process is at the point where parliament has to make the decision, then the chief whip and the caucus will discuss and give guidance on what to do,” said Duarte.

Asked if Mahumapelo was rebuked at the caucus political education indaba, Duarte said: “We have distanced ourselves from his remarks and we made it clear that he's speaking on his own behalf. He can't and did not speak on behalf of the ANC.”

Majodina said ANC would be submitting its proposed names to Modise on Friday.

“Whether we support it or not as ANC, we're not yet there at the moment, we're just following the amended rules that say start a panel, then ad hoc committee before you deal with the motion itself,” said Majodina.


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