Jackson Mthembu has warned that the removal of President Jacob Zuma could bring chaos. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

Parliament - African National Congress (ANC) chief whip Jackson Mthembu said a decision by five ruling party MPs to boycott a parliamentary committee meeting and an ANC study group amounted to "gross ill-discipline".

The MPs - Sizani Dlamini-Dubazana, Madala Ntombela, Mervyn Dirks, Wilma Newhoudt-Druchen, and Regima Lesoma - in a letter to the chief whip stated that they would not attend the meeting because they strongly objected to the leadership of committee chairwoman Makhozi Khoza, citing her breaching the ANC disciplinary code.

"The ANC Chief Whip has responded to the study group stating that study groups do not have the authority to suspend any work they are deployed to do as ANC deployees in parliament," Mthembu's office said.

"The ANC Chief Whip made it very clear that all ANC members were expected to attend today’s portfolio committee meeting on Public Service and Administration. Therefore the decision to boycott today’s portfolio committee meeting by some members amount to gross ill-discipline."

Mthembu said Khoza was being dealt with at an "organisational level" and that she would be subject to ANC constitutional processes.

"We therefore condemn today’s behaviour with utmost contempt." 

Earlier on Tuesday, ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said they would not go after all MPs who voted with the opposition in a no confidence vote in President Jacob Zuma last week, but said it would go after those who publicly stated they would vote in accordance with their conscience. That includes Khoza.

Mthembu warned the five errant MPs who boycotted Tuesday's meeting that they did not have the authority to remove another ANC deployee. The five are themselves expected to face disciplinary action.

"Those comrades who boycotted today’s meeting after clear instructions from the Chief Whip will be referred to the ANC Caucus Disciplinary Committee."