The African National Congress (ANC) has distanced itself from claims made by former North West premier and ANC MP Supra Mahumapelo that the party would not support the motion brought by the Democratic Alliance (DA) to initiate the process to remove Busisiwe Mkhwebane as public protector.
Speaking outside the Cape Town magistrates’ Court where MP Bongani Bongo was appearing on charges of corruption last week, Mahumapelo said the ANC had not made any decision to remove Mkhwebane from her position.
He told SABC reporters: “The decision of the ANC is that Chapter 9 institutions must be supported and if there are issues relating to Chapter 9 institutions, they must be ventilated according to the rules of procedure that have been laid. Personally, as Supra Mahumapelo the Member of Parliament, I see no reason to remove the current public protector, she’s doing a marvellous job.”
But the ANC says Mahumapelo was not speaking as a representative of the party, adding that it had not discussed its position on the matter.
It said in a statement on Sunday: “Mahumapelo spoke in his personal capacity and his views do not represent the organisation. It should be noted that the ANC has not yet discussed its position on the motion. The ANC caucus in parliament, guided by the national office, is the sole authority mandated to pronounce on positions of the ANC on matters before it, not individual members unless do delegated.
“The ANC once again reminds its members of the principles that inform organisational discipline as articulated in Through the Eye of the Needle that ‘individual leaders are elected into collectives which should work as a unit. No single person is a leader unto himself or herself, but a member of a collective which should give, considered canvassed guidance to membership and society as a whole.”
Last week, Speaker Thandi Modise approved a motion received from DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone requesting that parliament initiate proceedings for Mkhwebane’s removal.
National Assembly adopted new rules concerning the removal of office-bearers in the institutions supporting constitutional democracy in December last year. These institutions include the Office of the Public Protector.
Parties have until 7 February to submit their recommended nominees, after which a panel will be appointed.
Within 30 days of its appointment, the panel must conduct and finalise a preliminary assessment on the motion proposing a section 194 inquiry and make a recommendation to the Speaker.