Clive Ndou
Politics editor
2 minute read
24 Jan 2022
06:00

Scopa will not shelve suspended ANC MP Dirks’s letter

Clive Ndou

Despite the ANC having suspended its Pie­termaritzburg MP, Mervyn Dirks, for lodging a complaint against President Cyril Ramaphosa with the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa), the committee has not shelved the matter.

Despite the ANC having suspended its Pie­termaritzburg MP, Mervyn Dirks, for lodging a complaint against President Cyril Ramaphosa with the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa), the committee has not shelved the matter.

“The reported suspension of Mr Dirks has no material bearing on the matter at this point because the committee reserves the right to invite or summons any person to appear before it to provide information, evidence, or representation,” said Scopa chairperson, Mkhuleko Hlengwa.

The Witness previously reported that in a letter to Hlengwa, Dirks claimed that Ramaphosa was aware of, but failed to report to the Zondo Commission, allegations that state funds were used in the ANC internal elections campaign during the build-up to the 2017 ruling party elective conference.

While ANC chief whip, Pemmy Majodina, suspended Dirks before he could formally present the complaint before Scopa, the committee’s chairperson, Hlengwa said MPs would still discuss Dirks’s complaint during the committee’s meeting scheduled to take place tomorrow.

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He said the matter brought before him by Dirks, and being processed towards the committee, fell within the ambit of matters which deserved Scopa’s attention.

“The committee does not draw into party political activities and/or factions and therefore due regard is given to avoid polarising the committee whose work, whilst it is in the political space, must rise above party political divides and pay particular attention to the Rules of the National Assembly, the Constitution and applicable legislation to our work,” said Hlengwa.

The ANC said according to protocols, Dirks should have tabled his complaint against Ramaphosa before the ruling party’s internal structures in Parliament before referring it to Scopa.

In her letter informing Dirks that the party was suspending him over the way he brought his complaint before Scopa, Majodina also told the controversial MP that he was being removed as the ANC Scopa committee whip.

Majodina initially requested Dirks to withdraw his complaint at Scopa. When the ANC MP failed to comply, she suspended him.

However, Hlengwa said it would have been impossible for Dirks to withdraw his complaint. He said: 

“… a withdrawal of the letter, if it were to arise, does not conclude the matter without due process, as a report would still be required of the committee.”

“The matter is now a subject of parliamentary process, and the committee is seized with it and will take decisions it deems fit, necessary and appropriate,” he said.

Dirks, who is a former Msunduzi deputy mayor, could not be reached for comment.