Minister of Water and Sanitation Nomvula Mokonyane File picture: Phill Magakoe/ANA Pictures

Pietermaritzburg – African National Congress members deployed in parliament or any government positions should abide by party rules and policies, and if they do not agree with such terms they should leave the ruling party, ANC NEC member Nomvula Mokonyane said on Tuesday.

Delivering the Nelson Mandela Lecture at the Pietermaritzburg city hall, Mokonyane said the behaviour of some party members from KwaZulu-Natal was unacceptable and called on the leadership in the province to exercise control. 

“Please KZN get your deployees to behave, because we cannot have people that are siding with the opposition. They are there at the mercy of the ANC and if they do not want to follow party decisions let them go, we have plenty of people capable of representing the ANC,” she said to the applause of the audience that included mayors and councillors. 

She said that disciplined members should not side with United Democratic Movement leader General Bantu Holomisa or “the unruly [Economic Freedom Fighters' leader] Julius Malema and his rascals”. 

She said a lot could be learned from late former president Nelson Mandela who had demonstrated discipline by abiding to decisions, even if he did not agree with them. 

Mokonyane decried the public pronouncement from some leaders who expressed opposition to ANC president Jacob Zuma’s recent cabinet reshuffle. “When you are part of leadership you use appropriate platforms in which to express your opinion, you do not go and speak in public," she said.

She said the recent moves for regime change and Zuma’s removal by some sections in civil society were prompted by his calls on radical economic transformation and she said the domination of the economy by a few individuals should be tackled head on. 

Mokonyane accused big white-owned businesses of double standards, saying they were still getting big government deals. 

“We have noted that the same people who benefit from government deals accuse black business and government of corruption and when they are caught doing wrong it labelled as collusion.”