ANC to monitor North West Premier Job Mokgoro after suspending his party membership
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Johannesburg - The ANC in the North West has vowed to fully regulate and monitor the actions of Premier Job Mokgoro’s activities in the provincial legislature. This follows the party’s decision to temporarily suspend his ANC membership, pending his appearance before a disciplinary committee.
The decision to suspend Mokgoro and four others was announced by the top interim provincial party leadership led by Hlomani Chauke, on Sunday.
But Mokgoro - a few minutes after Chauke publicly announced the suspension - denied ever receiving a notice of his suspension including a formal communication from his party bosses.
On Sunday, Mokgoro said: “I am a fully-fledged member of the ANC in good standing. That decision has not been formally communicated to me. Mr Chauke was aware that since Wednesday until Friday, I was engaged in a Cabinet Lekgotla. I heard about my suspension through the media. He made no effort to contact me. How can they communicate such a decision through WhatsApp?” Mokgoro asked.
The North West ANC said Mokgoro allegedly colluded with the opposition party during the voting for Priscilla Willliams as chair of chairs in the provincial legislature.
Announcing the party’s decision in Mahikeng on Sunday, Chauke said Mokgoro, Williams, Aaron Motswana, Job Dliso and Bitso Lenkopane defied an instruction of the party’s chief whip Paul Sebego, that voting for a chair of chairs should not be held through a secret vote.
“The Interim Provincial Working Committee of the ANC noted that a directive by the ANC to have the election of the chair of chairs conducted through an open ballot was communicated to the caucus of the legislature.
The Interim Provincial Coordinator Hlomani Chauke addressed the ANC caucus on the ANC approach with respect to the election of the chair of chairs. The IPC coordinator also communicated the mandate of the ANC on its preference for this position,” Chauke said.
He, however, said his party was disappointed by reports that some ANC members elected to disregard the party mandate by voting against a motion initiated by Sebego to have elections conducted through an open ballot.
“In an act of open defiance, five ANC members collaborated with the opposition to defeat the mandate of the party of voting through a show of hands, in favour of the secret ballot.
“The election of the chair of chairs was carried through a secret ballot. The opposition nominated and seconded the name of Cde Priscilla Williams as chair of chairs who accepted the nomination.
“Cde Priscilla Williams, who was not the party preference, was elected as chair of chairs of the North West Provincial Legislature. Notwithstanding the fact that the ANC has the majority in the legislature, its preference was miscarried,” Chauke emphasised.
The ANC wanted Lenah Miga elected to that position, but the opposition had opposed it.
“These comrades defied the party’s instructions and voted with the opposition which allowed the election process to take place through a secret ballot. That disputed the party’s decision.
“We received a report that confirmed that the ANC voting for the position of chair of chairs would be done through a show of hands. Members of the ANC supported a motion by the opposition to allow voting to be through a secret ballot,” Chauke said.
He said the Premier and fellow members were informed of the organisational decision through email and WhatsApp messages. Chauke was at pains to explain their party decision and strongly rejected insinuations that their latest decision was part of the factional battles that had engulfed the ANC in the North West.
“We must not allow ill-discipline in the organisation. Ill-discipline is a serious offence in the ANC. Our duty is to correct where we find ill-discipline and act against members defying the organisation,” Chauke said.
He emphasised that Mokgoro would continue in his duties as Premier of the North West province, but his activities, including any decision he would make in that capacity, would be regulated by the ANC, particularly the leader of business and Sebego in the legislature.
Dliso who is a Cosatu deployee in the legislature, vowed to challenge his suspension, while Lenkopane said her suspension “was an internal ANC matter.”