THE ANC yesterday publicly rapped its treasurer-general over the knuckles because of remarks he made during the party’s centenary celebrations in Limpopo over the weekend.
Mathews Phosa openly defended suspended ANC youth leader Julius Malema on Saturday and criticised the ANC’s decision to place Limpopo under administration.
“Comrade and chairperson, I believe some of your powers as premier of the province have been stolen. That is a serious problem,” he reportedly told Limpopo Premier Cassel Mathale.
Referring specifically to Malema, he said party members should not be silenced or “thrown in the trash can” just because some party leaders disagree with them.
Yesterday afternoon, the ANC hit back with a media statement accusing Phosa of speaking out of turn.
The statement said that when it comes to disciplinary action, leaders should refrain from getting involved in the process, because if a national office-holder comments on an issue that has not yet been resolved, he could appear to be trying to influence the process.
“It is, therefore, not correct for any official to comment on the content or outcome of a case.”
Phosa said over the weekend that the national government should have found a better way to help Limpopo with its problems, rather than place the province under administration.
The ANC yesterday defended its decision to place Limpopo, as well as certain departments in other provinces, under administration.
As the strategic point of power the ANC has the right to deploy people and roll out strategies to ensure improved administration in government, said party secretary-general Gwede Mantashe.
“Our role as officials can be to request reports, but not to condemn a correct decision taken to improve administration,” he said.
He said the national government’s decision to place those departments under administration was intended to improve government administration, and the necessity of the decision was confirmed by the auditor-general’s findings.
Phosa was urged to abide by the rules of the party.
“As officials we have to abide by the policy of the organisation.
“Loyalty to decisions taken by the ANC and based on organisational and government prescriptions will restrict multiple messages.”
Mantashe said ANC leaders must invest in unity in the party.
“We do not regard this as a suppression of standpoints, but it is the responsibility of leaders to send consistent messages at all times.”