More members of the African National Congress (ANC) could be suspended or have disciplinary actions instituted against them, following the gatherings by former president Jacob Zuma’s supporters in Nkandla over the weekend.
According to ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe, members will not face disciplinary action because of their support for Zuma, but because their actions have been found to constitute misconduct.
On Wednesday, the ruling party temporarily suspended Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) spokesperson Carl Niehaus pending disciplinary action.
“The NEC has a reasonable apprehension that you will likely continue with your acts of misconduct and cause further damage to the good name and reputation of the ANC thereby bringing the organisation into more disrepute.” the party said.
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“Consequently, in the current volatile political situation in the country, aided and abetted by your incendiary speeches, the NEC has come to the conclusion that exceptional circumstances exist which justify that your temporary suspension come into operation with immediate effect (from the date of receipt of this letter) in accordance with Rule 25.60 of the ANC Constitution and that the seriousness of your transgressions and misconduct.”
In a media briefing, Mabe said Niehaus was not suspended due to his Nkandla visit, but because of his inflammatory statements.
“Such actions constitute acts of misconduct in accordance to the ANC constitution. All ANC members are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that will not put the organisation into disrepute,” said Mabe.
“The ANC will never stop any of it’s members from displaying support of an ANC leader. We have a right of freedom of movement in South Africa, we can’t tell our comrades where to go and where not to go. The message we’re sending out is that during Covid-19, where possible we should avoid large gatherings and at all times maintain social distance, to protect our lives. But the ANC will not hesitate to act against actions that seek to undermine its standing in society, liquidate the leadership of the ANC.”
Niehaus may be the first of many ANC members who will face the chop should the party’s investigation find more acts of misconduct.
“There will be work done in the province and where they feel that there are certain actions by individual members that require that they deal with such conducts, they do so,” said Mabe.
Niehaus intends to appeal the suspension with immediate effect.
“I remain a dedicated liberation fighter,” he said.