Eastern Cape MEC says 'stressed cadreship' speech was about following due process on corruption
Eastern Cape Cogta MEC Xolile Nqatha has defended his controversial speech about disciplinary proceedings being stayed for people affected by Covid-19, saying his message spoke against corruption and wrongdoing within the ANC.
Nqatha said his speech, which he made at a virtual memorial service for the late Buffalo City Metro speaker, Alfred Mtsi, in East London on Wednesday, was “edited in a negative way” to meet a certain narrative.
Mtsi, 69, died from Covid-19 complications at Life Beacon Bay hospital on Sunday morning.
In the speech that went viral on social media, Nqatha can be heard saying ANC cadres accused of wrongdoing should not be held accountable while in quarantine as their immune system might not be able to handle the stress, resulting in them dying.
“The challenges of this coronavirus do not require a stressed cadreship, for that weakens the immune system. That is why if you're contemplating to discipline anyone who must be held accountable for wrongdoing, if that person is in quarantine because he is ill, don't act against that person,” said.
However, speaking to Stephen Grootes on the SAfm Sunrise show on Thursday morning, the co-operative governance and traditional affairs MEC said his speech was against wrongdoing and also about applying the rule of law.
“Part of the speech was selective because part of the speech was arguing on the importance of holding people accountable and consequences for wrongdoing and that it must follow due process and that principle must cut across.”
He said the “heart” of his speech was about following “due process”.
“ ... Because sometimes in many cases municipalities have lost in court, it is because people go to council meetings, take difficult decisions not following due process and taking action against wrongdoers.”
He said he took corruption as a “very serious” mater and has acted against wrongdoers in the past.
“I have removed councillors who have been found guilty for selling land. I have removed councillors who acted in the way that is against the code of conduct because of our commitment to fight against wrongdoing.”