Censure for not supporting secrecy bill may be political

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ben turok

INLSA

Professor Ben Turok. Photo: Cindy Waxa

The ANC is considering a “political solution” in its disciplinary proceedings against veteran member Ben Turok and party colleague Gloria Borman for defying party orders in November.

The two ignored an instruction to vote for the Protection of State Information Bill.

Turok and Borman were due to appear on Wednesday before the ANC’s national disciplinary committee (DC), led by chairman Derek Hanekom, but the proceedings were postponed indefinitely, according to insiders.

The Star understands that Turok and Borman, who are represented by Pallo Jordan, arrived at Luthuli House for their hearing. Insiders say Jordan requested a political solution instead of disciplinary proceedings.

Turok, one of the leading members and drafters of the 1955 Freedom Charter, left the National Assembly a few minutes before voting took place. Borman remained in Parliament but abstained from voting.

The bill was adopted with 229 to 107 votes.

It was decided that the two would face disciplinary steps after an internal probe into the absence of 33 MPs from the vote.

All MPs, except Borman and Turok, were found to have been absent on acceptable grounds.

Neither Turok nor Borman were prepared to discuss their case on Wednesday.

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe would not confirm whether charges had been laid. He also would not comment on whether he had received a report on the matter. However, the insiders said Hanekom had granted Jordan’s request.

“Dr Jordan was also allowed to communicate his request with the secretary-general, Gwede Mantashe. The two had a lengthy discussion for about an hour. The DC was postponed after Mantashe agreed to discuss Jordan’s request with President Jacob Zuma.

“It is clear that the charges would be withdrawn against the two if JZ agrees with the political-solution request. If JZ endorses the request, it would renew tensions between those who want him removed at the Mangaung conference and those who want him returned.

“The DC was also unfair in that they turned down the ANC Youth League’s request for a political solution in the matter against Julius Malema and the ANC,” one of the insiders said.

However, Hanekom said “the representatives of the two comrades have requested an opportunity to discuss the charges with the chief national presenter (Uriel Abrahamse).

“These discussions are now under way, and the NDC will await the outcome thereof. No new date for the hearings has been set at this stage.”

Abrahamse declined to comment.

Jordan was also not available on his phone and did not return the call after a message was left on his phone.

The Star


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