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ANC National Disciplinary Committee summons Zuma over MK party support

ANC National Disciplinary Committee summons Zuma over MK party support
Former president Jacob Zuma addresses supporters of the uMkhonto Wesizwe party on 7 February 2024. (Photo: Gallo Images / City Press / Tebogo Letsie)

Former president Jacob Zuma is due to appear before the ANC’s National Disciplinary Committee on Tuesday after being suspended by the party for joining the uMkhonto Wesizwe party late last year.

The ANC’s National Disciplinary Committee (NDC), chaired by former Public Service Commission chairperson Ralph Mgijima, has requested former president Jacob Zuma to appear for his disciplinary hearing on Tuesday, 7 May at Luthuli House, the ANC’s headquarters in Johannesburg.

According to a letter sent to Zuma by the ANC’s chief national presenter, Uriel Abrahamse, the former party leader faces two charges.

The first is for contravening rule 25.17.17.4 of the ANC’s constitution, which states that he acted “on behalf of or in collaboration with a political organisation or party other than an organisation or party in the alliance of the ANC in a manner contrary to the aims, policies and objectives of the ANC”.

The second charge is that Zuma contravened rule 25.17.13  for “joining or supporting a political organisation or party other than an organisation in alliance with the ANC, in a manner contrary to the aims, objectives and policy of the ANC”.

The letter highlights Zuma’s announcement on 16 December that he would campaign for the uMkhonto Wesizwe (MK) party. Zuma at the time made it clear that while he would not campaign for “Ramaphosa’s ANC” he would remain a member of the party.

The letter states that Zuma contravened the party’s rules by appearing on the parliamentary list of the MK party, which is not affiliated with the ANC.

MK party spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndhlela confirmed to EWN that Zuma would attend the hearing, adding that the former president has “nothing to hide”.

Members of the party are expected to support Zuma by gathering outside the ANC’s headquarters.

Members of the ANC NDC 

The ANC’s NDC has eight members. Two are from the National Executive Committee — Faith Muthambi and Nocawe Mafu. The others are Thandi Orleyn, Enver Surty, Kerensa Millard, Robinson Ramaite and Vusi Pikoli.

Muthambi had a close relationship with Zuma and served in various ministries during his tenure.

Pikoli is a former National Director of Public Prosecutions and notably reinstated corruption charges against Zuma in 2005.

Surty was the deputy minister of basic education from 2009 to 2019.

Orleyn, a lawyer, is a founder, director and shareholder of Peotona Group Holdings, an investment company, together with ANC deputy Secretary-General under Nelson Mandela Cheryl Carolus, Wendy Lucas-Bull and the late Dolly Mokgatle.

Ramaite is a high-profile businessman known to be close to ANC deputy president Paul Mashatile. His companies have benefited from Gauteng government contracts.

Millard was head of legal services at the former Intelligence Ministry during Thabo Mbeki’s tenure as president.

NDC procedures

According to the ANC constitution, Zuma may be represented by a member in good standing at the hearing.

The NDC has the jurisdiction to expel from the ANC any members they believe are in contravention of rule 25 of the party’s constitution.

“Any member found guilty of the misconduct referred to in Rule 25.5 (m) and (n), shall be ineligible to be or remain a member, and shall be expelled from the organisation,” it reads.

The NDC may impose penalties or sanctions for “proven violations of the constitution, other relevant instruments, principles, norms, policies and decisions of the ANC, [which] will include reprimand, payment of compensation and/or the performance of useful tasks, remedial action, and suspension of membership or expulsion from the ANC, and in the case of a public representative also the removal from any list or instrument which entitles such person to represent the ANC at any level of government”.

The committee also has the power to suspend the imposition of any penalties or sanctions, with or without certain conditions, for a set period.

If expelled or sanctioned, Zuma will have up to 14 days to contest the findings with the party’s National Disciplinary Committee of Appeal.

How it all began

There has been ongoing turmoil between the ANC and Zuma since he ditched the ANC for the MK party.

While announcing his support for the MK party, Zuma accused President Cyril Ramaphosa of being an agent of “white monopoly capital” and of being against the progress of black professionals and intellectuals.

“I cannot, and will not, campaign for the ANC of Ramaphosa,” he said.

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In January, the ANC suspended Zuma for “actively impugning the integrity of the ANC” by campaigning to dislodge the organisation from power.

At the time, ANC Secretary-General Fikile Mbalula said the NEC had invoked rule 25.60 of the party’s constitution to suspend Zuma. He said the rule did not allow Zuma the opportunity to respond to the decision as it was final.

Mbalula said that the decision was unanimous and that it had not been a “contentious issue” as even those once aligned with Zuma agreed that he had crossed the line.

The ANC has since taken to the courts to challenge the registration of the MK party. The party also challenged MK’s use of the name of its disbanded military wing, but was unsuccessful in both cases. 

ANC spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri on Thursday confirmed the party had notified Zuma of his upcoming disciplinary hearing. She said the hearing would be conducted with transparency and Zuma would be allowed to present his case.

“This critical step underscores the ANC’s dedication to its constitutional principles,” Bhengu-Motsiri said.

She said the ANC holds “all members, regardless of their position, to the same standards of conduct” and that disciplinary actions contributed to the party’s renewal process.

“Our party’s strength lies in its unity, shared vision, and unwavering commitment to the people. No organisation is immune to challenges, and when faced with internal matters, we act decisively,” she said. DM

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