Attack on chief whip by ANC MPs showed 'great ill-discipline' - Ramaphosa
30 November 2017
Cape Town - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has weighed in on the current problems within the ANC caucus, after six ANC MPs accused chief whip Jackson Mthembu of "colluding" with the Democratic Alliance.
The ANC MPs held a media conference on Monday evening - broadcast by ANN7 - slamming Mthembu, the current inquiry into Eskom, and evidence leader Advocate Ntuthuzelo Vanara.
They accused Mthembu of colluding with the DA to schedule a debate on state capture on Tuesday evening, and took issue with the fact that the Eskom inquiry was not looking into "white monopoly capital".
Ramaphosa was asked what his thoughts were on the matter during an informal breakfast with Parliament's Press Gallery Association on Thursday.
"That is a serious matter of concern, and in my view, for members of Parliament to attack their own chief whip in the most public way shows great ill-discipline," Ramaphosa answered.
"If they have concerns about the chief whip, they should have raised it within the party.
"The matter is being discussed and looked at, but I take a very dim view on the manner in which the issue was raised."
Ramaphosa however defended the six MPs from the perception that they were "in favour of state capture".
"I don't believe that is how they would like to be depicted or how they would be seen. The matter, though, is being looked into."
Complaint, ANN7 apology
Mthembu has since laid a complaint with the Broadcasting Complaints Commission.
"ANN7 repeatedly ran this broadcast over two days and published defamatory comments without having afforded the ANC chief whip a right of reply to these allegations," Mthembu said in his letter to the BCC.
"They failed to be fair, impartial and objective in this instance."
ANN7 owner Mzwenele Manyi, who bought the channel from the infamous Gupta family in August, tweeted an apology to Mthembu on Wednesday.
"Dear Cde @JacksonMthembu_ The word embarrassment does not even begin to describe how I feel about what @Ann7tv did to you," Manyi tweeted.
"ANN7 will play an apology throughout the day. AND your right of reply when you are ready."
Mthembu explained before the debate that Parliament had, over time, established a rotational system for political parties to introduce motions for debate in the National Assembly.
Tuesday was the DA's turn for such a motion, he said.
The matter has been escalated to the party's national leadership. News24
Ramaphosa: I will pledge my loyalty to whoever becomes ANC leader
Cape Town – The ANC's national conference will go ahead, and the presidential hopefuls will abide by the conference's decision, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday.
Ramaphosa was addressing the Parliamentary Press Gallery Association at a breakfast meeting in one of Parliament's members' dining halls, in his capacity as leader of government business, but the matter of the ANC conference could not be avoided.
Ramaphosa was asked what he would do after next month's conference.
"You know, after the conference, I intend to go on a little bit of a holiday, rest for this gruelling year we’ve had. Whatever the outcome is of this conference, I intend to do just that," he said.
"I don't expect disputes to come out of this conference."
Grinning broadly, Ramaphosa said one of the positive things President Jacob Zuma had done was to host the "last supper" – when he invited all the ANC presidential candidates to dine with him.
"We all had this wonderful last supper."
He said he had seen many South Africans take to social media to compare this supper to Jesus Christ's last supper, where he was betrayed by Judas Iscariot.
"This time around, I'm not sure who the Judas Iscariot is going to be," he said, to laughter.
"This last supper the president called, was a most wonderful occasion. It was warm, people hugged each other and I can promise you, no one had a dagger in their pocket," he said with a smile.
"No one. Not that I looked for it… Not even that I had one. I promise you, I don't have one."
'Whatever the branches decide, we will accept'
He said the seven presidential hopefuls had interacted very warmly.
"The president's message was, and he was very clear, he said: 'I called you all just for one thing: I just want us to have an orderly conference, a dignified conference, a conference that will proceed so well'."
He said Zuma had requested that they all encourage their supporters to behave in an orderly fashion.
He said all the candidates had agreed.
"All of us, to a man and a woman, we were saying, whatever the branches decide, we will accept.
"If I'm unsuccessful, I will gladly, unreservedly, accept the outcome of the decision of the delegates of the African National Congress. And if it is a different person who is elected to be president of the African National Congress, to lead our great movement, I will immediately pledge my support, pledge my loyalty."
Ramaphosa said he would continue to serve the ANC in whatever way was required.
"That is a pledge that I make."
He said he believed that the other candidates had made similar pledges.
"So I don't expect any disputed outcome or any outcome to be disputed, and I will certainly not want to dispute any outcome."