Hanekom promises to respond to Mantashe's warning

Derek Hanekom was the first ANC official to table a motion of no confidence in President Zuma at an NEC meeting last year. (Reuters)

Derek Hanekom was the first ANC official to table a motion of no confidence in President Zuma at an NEC meeting last year. (Reuters)

The ANC’s Derek Hanekom will prepare a response to the party’s request that he defend why he should remain chairperson of the national disciplinary structure.

Hanekom told the Mail & Guardian on Monday that he won’t yet say whether he will challenge the letter, sent by ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe, or acquiesce and call it quits.

“Of course I will respond. That’s all I’m prepared to say for now,” he said.

The ANC threatened to remove Hanekom as chair of the NDC on Friday, saying his tweets in the run-up to the motion of no confidence vote in President Jacob Zuma put the NDC in “jeopardy”.

Mantashe, in his letter to Hanekom, cited four tweets which Hanekom sent prior to the vote on August 8 that “prejudiced” the NDC.

“As a consequence, the independence and integrity of the office of the NDC has been placed in jeopardy and could legitimately be questioned by comrades who appear before this body in the future,” Mantashe wrote.

The ANC has given Hanekom 10 days to defend his position. He has until August 28 to submit his response.

Hanekom is the latest Zuma detractor to face the axe from an ANC structure.
Mantashe’s letter to him is dated August 18 – the same day ANC MP Makhosi Khoza was fired as chairperson of the public service and administration committee in Parliament.

ANC treasurer general Zweli Mkhize said that it will ultimately fall on the national executive committee (NEC) to decide what Hanekom’s fate will be.

“Because of the current controversies and issues that are being debated, the matter will ultimately end up serving at the NEC and they are the one to make up a decision as to where this matter must go,” Mkhize told EWN

Hanekom is a member of the NEC. He was the first ANC official to table a motion of no confidence in Zuma at an NEC meeting last year.

Mkhize says that the party has reason to instruct disciplinary processes against Hanekom because he defied the ANC constitution. The rules of the party state that its members may not vote with the opposition, but in encouraging MPs to “vote against state capture”, Hanekom is believed to have supported opposition parties. The Democratic Alliance tabled the motion in Parliament with support from the Economic Freedom Fighters and the United Democratic Movement.

Hanekom, however, said in a tweet before the vote that the motion was not about siding with the opposition. 

Mantashe included the tweet as evidence Hanekom should be axed in his letter.

ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa told the M&G last week that if Hanekom were to remain as chair of the NDC then members who appear before the disciplinary committee may ask him to recuse himself because of his public criticism of Zuma.

“The chair of the DC [disciplinary committee] must be above reproach in dealing with ill-discipline in the organisation, otherwise every member who appears before the chair whose implicated in other things, will request him to recuse himself,” Kodwa said. 

Ra'eesa Pather

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