Africa-Press – South-Africa. If the allegations that ANC MPs tried to extort a bribe from suspended Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane are true, the party will not hesitate to take action against them.
This was the assurance given by ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula on Sunday when he briefed the media on the sidelines of the party’s national working committee (NWC) engagements with North West ANC structures.
His remarks came after allegations surfaced that three ANC MPs tried to solicit a bribe from Mkhwebane, promising to aid her through the Section 194 Committee investigation into her eligibility to hold office.
“If there is any member of the ANC who has done the things that are being reported about, surely there will be action; heads will roll definitely because we don’t play. It won’t take a week. We will be on top of that person.
“You do wrong in the ANC. We hit you, and we hit you hard. If there is anybody who has done the things that are being alleged, that person is in for a high jump, the ANC will not hesitate to act,” said Mbalula.
He added that he was concerned about the party’s image and should the reports not be true, the ANC would pursue those who had made the claims.
Speaker of the National Assembly, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, on Sunday, announced that she had advised Mkhwebane to formally file a complaint with the Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests regarding her allegations of corruption in the Section 194 Committee investigation into her eligibility to hold office.
“The Speaker’s advice is in response to Adv. Mkhwebane’s letter requesting to meet with her and confidentially discuss these claims in order to get advice on how Parliament might proceed with an investigation.
“As the allegations concern the conduct of Members of Parliament, the appropriate course of action would be for Advocate Mkhwebane to file a complaint with the Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests through the Office of the Registrar, which is governed by the Code of Ethical Conduct and Disclosure of Members’ Interests for Assembly and Permanent Council Members,” said the statement issued by Moloto Mothapo, Parliament spokesperson.
According to the statement, Mkhwebane requested a private discussion on the matter with the Speaker. But Mapisa-Nqakula said that given that the procedure for referring matters for investigation at Parliament is clearly outlined in the code and on its website, that Mkhwebane did not need to meet with her to discuss it.
“It is important that the Speaker remains impartial throughout this process,” the statement pointed out.
According to the Speaker’s office, documents, data, and evidence of the alleged crime will remain confidential, and the Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests and Sub-Committee meetings will be closed to the public until such time as a finding is reached.