PP: MKMVA disappointed by ANC's support of DA motion

Association says voting with the opposition a terrible failure in understanding


Tuesday, 23 March 2021

The Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) is deeply disappointed with the decision that led the African National Congress (ANC) caucus to have voted in favor of a motion by the Democratic Alliance (DA). MKMVA believes that the members of the ANC caucus were wrongly instructed by the members of the National Office Bearers (NOB’s) who told them to vote in favor of the DA motion.

In terms of the ANC Constitution the following Duties of members are crucial with regards to this very unfortunate instruction to vote in favor of the DA motion:

Rule 5.2.2 Take all necessary steps to understand and carry out the aims, policies and programs of the ANC;

Rule 5.2.5 Combat propaganda detrimental to the interests of the ANC and defend the policies, aims and program of the ANC;

Rule 5.2.6 Fight against racism, tribal chauvinism, sexism, religious and political intolerance or any other form of discrimination and chauvinism;

MKMVA insists that to vote in favor of the DA, which is white dominated, has a history of racist conduct, and consistently defends entrenched white privilege, was a terrible failure in understanding and acting in defense of the policies, aims and program of the ANC. Nor does it past the test that it is the duty of every ANC member to fight against racism.

It is evident that confusion was allowed to reign with regards to the said DA motion. After the National Assembly had adopted the new Rules to guide the possible removal Chapter 9 appointees, it was wrong to have simply accepted a related motion by the DA with regards to the acceptance or rejection of the Report of the Independent Panel in terms of Section 194 of the Constitution on the Public Protector.

It must be emphasized that the Rules concerning Chapter 9 appointees were not specifically adopted for the Public Protector, but for all Chapter 9 institutions. These Rules cannot be applied retrospectively. Thus, in dealing specifically with regards to the Public Protector, a new motion should have been tabled. In not having insisted that this happened, the ANC made a serious error that confused many members.

However, having pointed out this error, it should in addition still be emphasized that even if a new motion was tabled, for ANC MP’s to have participated in a vote about the acceptance or rejection of the Report of the Independent Panel, was to participate in a process that was unfolding in support of the Democratic Alliance’s clearly stated intention to remove the Public Protector from office.

Thus, for any ANC Member of Parliament to have voted with the Democratic Alliance was also contrary to Rule 25.17.13 of the ANC Constitution, which describes, with regards to the duties of members, office bearers and representatives, that an act of misconduct is: “Joining or supporting a political organisation, other than an organisation in alliance with the ANC, in a manner contrary to the aims, objectives and policy of the ANC”.

The racist DA is certainly NOT an organisation that is in alliance with the ANC, and therefore to have voted in a process that had been initiated, promoted and sponsored by the DA constituted a flagrant contravention of our ANC Constitution.

It is therefore the strongly held view of MKMVA that the National Office Bearers who instructed ANC MP’s in caucus erred comprehensively, both in terms of procedure and principle. With regards to the principle that an act of misconduct is to support a political organization “in a manner contrary to the aims, objectives and policy of the ANC”, they have actually contravened the ANC Constitution.

MKMVA therefore calls on the forthcoming meeting of the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) to reprimand the relevant National Office Bearers for the wrong decision that they have enforced, and to reconsider the ANC’s position. It is critically important as we move forward there must be clarity, both with regards to procedures and principles. The current confusion cannot be allowed to continue. It causes discord within the ANC, and also undermines our stature in the eyes of the general South African population.

It is the firmly held belief of MKMVA that the only reasonable decision for the ANC NEC to take is to instruct all ANC MP’s not to vote in future in favor of DA motions. This should be applicable not only with regards to the process that the DA initiated to remove of the incumbent Public Protector, but also with regards to all future motions that the DA may wish to table in the parliament.

Issued by Carl Niehaus, member of MKMVA National Executive Committee (NEC), and National Spokesperson, 23 March 2021