MBOMBELA – ANC chief whip, Jackson Mthembu, has come under flak from his province following his strong criticism of his party’s national executive committee (NEC) over the weekend.
The ANC Mpumalanga provincial executive committee has joined other party structures such as Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association and the ANCYL, which have excoriated Mthembu for speaking on internal party issues that were discussed at the national working committee.
“The public has lost confidence in the ANC because of factional behavior, because of arrogance, and now, under our watch, a sitting minister is spuriously charged with fraud,” said Mthembu during a television interview.
He even called for the entire NEC to resign, including its president, Jacob Zuma and deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa to resign.
Mpumalanga ANC secretary, Mandla Ndlovu, however, criticised Mthembu for speaking out and said that he was “not mandated” to speak on the party’s issues.
- The charging of finance minister Pravin Gordhan by the Hawks unit on fraud charges, which are believed to be a political witch-hunt;
- The drop in the ANC election vote after the local government elections that saw it losing strategic metros – the City of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay – to the Democratic Alliance. The ANC’s overall vote dropped to 54%; and
- The ANC’s parliamentary caucus’ handling of the R240 million upgrades on President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead.
Mthembu had been outspoken lately and was the first ANC NEC member to slam the manner in which the SABC board mishandled the broadcasters’ former chief operations officer Hlaudi Motsioeneng’s appointment and his sweeping powers in the SABC.
He has also been vocal about the state capture allegations against the wealthy Gupta family that is close to President Zuma.
Ndlovu however said that the PEC would not mobilise the NEC to charge Mthembu.
“History will judge him”, Ndlovu said, “But we’re not expecting our ambassadors (from Mpumalanga) to behave the way he did”.
“It is wrong for an NEC member to talk about what he is going to say in an NEC meeting. We’re not going to mobilise the ANC to prefer charges against Jackson Mthembu”, he added.
Ndlovu stopped short of accusing Mthembu of being in the pockets of white monopoly capital. He said the ANC had noted with concern utterances by multi-national companies calling for “regime-change”.
Ndlovu singled out Anglo Gold Ashanti chairperson, Sipho Pityana, as the one who had rendered himself a mouth-piece of white monopoly capital.
Pityana has been calling on President Zuma to resign.
“Caucus, as we know, does not speak on behalf of the NEC. This therefore begs the question – who was he (Mthembu) speaking on behalf of and the benefit of whose agenda?” he said.
Ndlovu said the failure that Mthembu spoke about did not exist.