Durban - Supporters of Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said she had every intention of attending the National Assembly sitting on Monday, where MPs voted to impeach Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, but did not attend due to ill-health.
A total of 318 MPs voted in favour of the motion to remove Mkhwebane, with 43 voting against the bid.
The resolution of the National Assembly will now be referred to President Cyril Ramaphosa for Mkhwebane’s removal, in accordance with the provisions of section 194 of the Constitution.
On Monday, ANC chief whip in Parliament, Pemmy Majodina, said Dlamini Zuma did not send a letter of apology and she would write to the party’s secretary-general, Fikile Mbalula, to demand that action be taken against her.
“Her absence today was a shock to me. She has no apology and no permission to be absent. I can account for others, I know their whereabouts. I don’t know the whereabouts of Mama Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and as I usually do, I am packaging the report and sending it to the secretary-general’s office. It’s high time that they act.”
Prior to the vote, Majodina said any ANC MP voting to keep Mkhwebane in her job would be dealt with.
However, Dlamini Zuma’s supporters said that she had submitted an apology to Majodina. “Apparently, there was an apology that was sent to the chief whip with Dlamini Zuma explaining that she was ill. She stated her reasons for not being able to attend physically,” an ANC insider said. The source said Dlamini Zuma was waiting for Majodina to refer the matter to the ANC and “she will respond accordingly”.
Mbalula had issued an instruction to the caucus that the ANC expected its 230 MPs to be in Parliament on Monday for the vote.
According to reports, Mbalula also singled out Dlamini Zuma, former health minister Zweli Mkhize, former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo and former mineral resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane, the four MPs who had defied party instructions in December last year that MPs should vote to reject the Phala Phala impeachment report.
Mkhize, Dlamini Zuma, Mahumapelo and Zwane went against the party by either voting in favour of the report’s adoption or being absent during the crucial vote.
They ignored instructions to oppose adoption of the section 89 report recommending an impeachment process for Ramaphosa, and defied the party again in a vote this year on the creation of an ad hoc committee to look into the scandal.
The ANC had initiated the process of charging the four and their names had been referred to the party’s national disciplinary committee (NDC).
Majodina is reported to have told the caucus that her political assessment report on the party’s MPs was complete and had been sent to Luthuli House.
Political analyst Professor Sipho Seepe said this was another example of the ANC becoming totalitarian in posture.
“It is an indication that the party is fragile. It wants to make sure there are no dissenting voices to ensure that the leader gets what he wants.
“It is no longer projecting itself as being democratic and issues are not discussed but instead MPs are expected to toe the line.”