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Attack on chief whip by ANC MPs showed ‘great ill-discipline’ – Ramaphosa

By News24 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. DM

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