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By Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Digital Deputy News Editor

Magashule: You can’t suspend Mervyn Dirks for ‘doing the right thing’

Magashule said he would be appealing the ruling by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) that upheld his suspension.

Suspended African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Ace Magashule has criticised ANC MP Mervyn Dirks ‘ suspension, saying he should not be suspended for doing the right thing.

Speaking to the media outside Tokyo Sexwale’s home in Soweto on Wednesday, Magashule said it was the ANC leadership that encouraged officials to report maladministration and corruption.

“You can’t suspend Mervyn Dirks because the ANC leadership has said we must expose whatever corruption, maladministration wherever it exists. Mervyn Dirks is acting as a member of parliament, his conscious and the way the ANC has taught him, he’s doing the right thing, you can’t trample on him. You remember during the time of Zuma, committees were very active and we never took any action against committee members,” said Magashule.

ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina last month placed Dirks on precautionary suspension for his “unbecoming” conduct, and initiated disciplinary proceedings against him.

The MP was also stripped of his parliamentary duties as the whip of Scopa after having ignored Majodina’s instruction to withdraw his request.

Dirks had written to Scopa chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa requesting that President Cyril Ramaphosa be summoned to the committee to answer to allegations of mismanagement of public funds.

The President has been given 10 days to respond to questions sent by Scopa regarding his leaked audio.

Dirks has failed to overturn his suspension from Parliament after the Western Cape High Court struck his application off the roll last Tuesday.

Magashule to appeal his own suspension

Magashule further said he would appeal the ruling by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) that upheld his own suspension.

The appeal court dismissed the application with costs.

“It is the right of people to appeal where they’re not satisfied, so of course we’ll appeal to the highest court in the land because what I was arguing was about the ANC constitution, it is not in line with the constitution of the country,” said Magashule on Wednesday.

Magashule had filed papers at the appeal court in Bloemfontein in a bid to overturn his suspension. He also wanted the court to uphold his attempt to suspend Cyril Ramaphosa as party president.

He believed the SCA would come to a different conclusion on his appeal application, arguing that the ANC’s step-aside rule was unconstitutional and flouted the principle that an accused is innocent until proven guilty.

In July, the full bench of the Johannesburg High Court dismissed Magashule’s application to overturn his suspension from the ANC. That application was dismissed with costs, with the court finding that his suspension was consistent with the ANC’s and the country’s constitution.

READ MORE: Suspended Magashule in the cold as appeal bid fails

Additional reporting by Getrude Makhafola