/ 27 February 2024

ANC expels Mervyn Dirks for cosying up to MK party

Mervyn Dirks
Pietermaritzburg-based ANC MP, Mervyn Dirks, in MK party colours. Photo supplied

Pietermaritzburg-based ANC member of the provincial legislature (MPL) and the city’s former deputy mayor, Mervyn Dirks, has become the first prominent ruling party member to be expelled for aligning himself with former president Jacob Zuma’s uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party — an ANC splinter organisation.

Dirks, who was spotted wearing MK party colours during the newly-formed political organisation’s rally in Maqongqo, Pietermaritzburg, was on Monday served with a letter from ANC provincial secretary Bheki Mtolo, informing the ANC KwaZulu-Natal Legislature MPL that his ruling party membership has been terminated.

“This letter serves [to inform you] that you have been expelled from the African National Congress because you have joined another political party, contravening rule 25.17.13 of the ANC constitution,” said the letter.

A former Msunduzi Municipality deputy mayor, Dirks was recently transferred from the ANC National Assembly caucus to the KZN Provincial Legislature amid a fallout with the ruling party National Assembly caucus leadership.

In 2017 whilst an ANC MP in Cape Town, Dirks was accused of insulting and threatening to assault fellow ANC MP Thozama Mantashe.

In the same year, Dirks was kicked out of one of a National Assembly sitting for waving a middle finger at an opposition party MP.

While Dirks denied having insulted or threatened to assault Mantashe, he said he waved the middle finger after being provoked by the opposition party MP.

Dirks, who in his tenure in the National Assembly sat on the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa), also irked ANC party leaders when he called on Scopa to investigate President Cyril Ramaphosa. In his complaint to Scopa, Dirks accused Ramaphosa of being in possession of information showing that government money was being used to finance ANC internal elections.

According to Dirks’ complaint, Ramaphosa failed to pass on the information to law enforcement agencies as required by law.

He was suspended by the ANC in parliament and recalled as a Scopa representative.

In his letter dated February 25, Mtolo told Dirks that he will no longer be allowed to continue serving as an ANC MPL in the KZN Legislature.

“You will no longer represent the ANC as public representative in the KZN Legislature,” Mtolo said.

While ANC provincial spokesperson Mafika Mndebele declined to comment on Dirks’ dismissal letter, he said the ANC would be “firm and decisive” when dealing with party members “who collaborated with rival political parties”.

Dirks, who confirmed having received the letter from Mtolo, insisted that he remained an ANC member and MPL.

“The ANC made me who I am today — I grew up in the ANC. The ANC has not done anything wrong to me, and I will never leave the party. What I refuse to be a member of is the Ramaphosa ANC, which is arrogant and is, as we speak, busy with neoliberal policies. I will work day and night to ensure that Ramaphosa’s ANC is defeated in the upcoming elections. From now onwards, I will mobilise to ensure victory for the MK party.”

This article first appeared in The Witness.