WATCH: E Cape MEC slams 'distorted' reaction to call for suspension of all ANC corruption hearings
Eastern Cape Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Xolile Nqatha claimed he was deliberately quoted out of context on a social media post suggesting he said the ANC should suspend all disciplinary hearings of those involved in corruption because their immune system is weak and would die of Covid-19 if the hearings continue.
Nqatha said he learnt with great shock the circulation of "distorted social media posts to drive a certain narrative and tarnish his image".
While speaking at the memorial service of the late Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality Council Speaker Alfred Mtsi on behalf of the alliance, Nqatha made a clarion call to his comrades deployed in the municipality to be comradely with each other regardless of their differences, which he raised in the context of the existing political challenges in the institution.
Eastern Cape MEC Xolile Nqatha on disciplinary hearings:— Honorary Prof. Leon James (@MightiJamie) July 15, 2020
“This virus does not require a stressed cadreship. Suspend all disciplinary hearings ...their immune system is weak”
“It is un- ANC to discipline people while they are in quarantine” pic.twitter.com/TIVQrMDcnF
“Challenges of this coronavirus does not require a stressed cadreship for that weakens the immune system, that is why if you are contemplating to discipline anyone who must be held accountable for wrongdoing, if that person is in quarantine because he is ill, don’t act against that person… It’s un-ANC… It’s not comradely, let’s not treat each other that way, it’s against the spirit of comrade Mtsi."
Nqatha added: "Let’s mourn and pay tribute to him by treating each other better and be a comrade to one another. You take action against any person who is quarantined, that person is stressed, his immune system cannot be able to fight the virus. That person dies, then I come here and cry crocodile tears. Part of the renewal is to rethink how we treat each other.”
He said the message he was communicating to his fellow comrades was that of being humane and comradely with each other despite their differences.
"It is a universally established principle that when and if you contemplate taking action against any person, such a person must be afforded an opportunity to present his/her side.
"It will be inhumane, immoral and illegal to proceed with the disciplinary process when the person has submitted a valid sick note and is effectively declared unfit to work."
Nqatha said he remained firmly committed to the renewal of the country and upholding the rule of law, due process and professionalisation of the public service, including consequence management for wrongdoing.