Eastern Cape cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) MEC Xolile Nqatha has been highly criticised following his speech at the memorial service of the late Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality Council Speaker Alfred Mtsi on Wednesday.
In his speech, Nqatha slammed comrades who are involved in “petty political squabbles” and asked them to look up to departed Mtsi, who only focused on serving people.
Instead of treating each other inhumanely, cadres should be “comradely” to one another, added Nqatha, who further criticised those contemplating to “discipline” anyone accused of wrongdoing while they were in quarantine.
He said: “Our work requires that we be comradely to one another. Let be sincere and true to one another. Let us be supportive of each other because our environment can be stressful and with these challenges of coronavirus, let us 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, it’s un-ANC, it’s un-comradely. Let’s not treat each other that way, it’s against the spirit of comrade Mtsi. Let’s mourn and pay tribute to him by treating each other better. You take any action against a person who is in quarantine, that person is stressed, his immune system cannot be able to fight the virus.
“You take action against any person who is in quarantine, that person is stressed, his immune system cannot be able to fight the virus, that person dies then I come here and cry crocodile tears. Part of renewal is how we treat each other in the name of comrade Mtsi. Let us be reminded that the ANC was formed to unite the people and that for the ANC to be able to carry that task, it ought to be unified in order to serve the people.”
Nqatha has received a wave of criticism from those who accused him of making excuses for corrupt comrades.
However, the MEC said he had been quoted out of context, further distancing himself from the “distorted” social media posts suggesting that he said the ANC should suspend all disciplinary hearings of those involved in corruption because their immune systems were weak and would die of Covid-19 if hearings continue.
“The MEC is deliberately quoted out of context to drive a certain narrative and tarnish his image. The message the MEC was communicating was that of being humanly by giving them an opportunity to present his/her side. It will be inhumane, immoral and illegal to proceed with the disciplinary process when the person has submitted a valid sick note and effectively declared unfit to work.
“The MEC remains committed to the consequence for wrongdoing which must be done prudently and within the prescripts of the laws governing the country,” said Nqatha in a statement.