ANC keen to take ac­tion against awol ‘vote’ MPs

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - MAY­I­BONGWE MAQHINA

ANC MPs who were ab­sent from Tues­day’s sit­ting of Par­lia­ment are ex­pected to face the mu­sic for de­fy­ing the gov­ern­ing party’s cau­cus di­rec­tive.

It would not be the first time the ANC cau­cus in­sti­tutes such ac­tion. It also probed the ab­sence of 33 MPs from the vote on the Se­crecy Bill a few years ago.

Two former MPs, Ben Turok and Glo­ria Bor­man, were charged for step­ping out of Par­lia­ment be­fore the vote took place.

This time, a num­ber of MPs de­fied the party, de­spite the ANC cau­cus hav­ing or­dered them to at­tend the sit­ting prior to the mo­tion of no con­fi­dence de­bate in Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma. The ANC has 249 seats in Par­lia­ment. Two of its MPs died less than 10 days ago. And although more than 220 ANC MPs were present in the House, 198 of them voted to give Zuma a re­prieve.

The num­ber of ab­sen­tee MPs was es­ti­mated to be about 20. Win­nie Madik­izela-Man­dela is among those who did not at­tend. She is on leave af­ter a res­o­lu­tion based on ill-health was passed by Par­lia­ment.

Another MP, No­ma­lun­gelo Gina, is also on sick leave fol­low­ing an in­jury she sus­tained in a car ac­ci­dent in Paarl last week.

MPs Ti­mothy Khoza and Trevor Bon­homme died re­cently.

Higher Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing Deputy Min­is­ter Mduduzi Manana, who is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated for as­sault­ing a woman at a night­club, was among the no­tice­able ab­sent MPs.

Speak­ing on 702 yes­ter­day, ANC chief whip Jack­son Mthembu said he did not know why Manana did not at­tend the de­bate.

“We will find out from him. He will have to ac­count to the chief whip, like the oth­ers who did not present them­selves and who did not pro­vide med­i­cal cer­tifi­cates,” Mthembu said.

He would not be drawn on whether Manana had ten­dered an apol­ogy.

“I would not like to speak about only one per­son on na­tional ra­dio,” he said.

At Tues­day’s vot­ing process, some ANC mem­bers broke ranks to vote with the op­po­si­tion par­ties, while oth­ers ab­stained.

But Mthembu said on Tues­day his fo­cus was not on the num­bers, but on the fact that they had de­feated the mo­tion.

“Yes‚ there might be some mem­bers of the ANC who voted with the op­po­si­tion, but for now the most im­por­tant as­pect is that this vote of no con­fi­dence was de­feated,” he said.

In another devel­op­ment, a list con­tain­ing the names of ANC MPs sus­pected to have voted with the op­po­si­tion par­ties is do­ing the rounds on so­cial me­dia. But Mthembu said it was a “bo­gus” list.

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