ANC keen to take action against awol ‘vote’ MPs
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.