ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte has said the party’s disciplinary processes, like other functions, should continue as per usual even in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Duarte said Eastern Cape Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Xolile Nqatha did not speak for the ANC, but was sharing his own views and was in an emotional state when he said it was “un-ANC” and “un-comradely” to pursue disciplinary measures against someone quarantined because of the pandemic.
“That is why if you are contemplating disciplining anyone who must be held accountable for wrongdoing, if that person is in quarantine because he’s ill, don’t act against that person. It’s un-ANC, it’s uncomradely. Let’s not treat each other that way. It’s against the spirit of Comrade Mtsi,” he said in a video that has gone viral on social media.
He further said: “You take action against a person who is quarantined that person is stressed his immune system cannot be able to fight the virus, that person dies then I come here and cry crocodile tears. Part of the renewal is to rethink how we treat each other.”
Nqatha has since claimed his comments, which were captured live at the virtual memorial service of Buffalo City metro speaker Alfred Mtsi, were taken out of context and was an attempt to tarnish his image.
“We can’t set aside rules and regulations, they will remain. He is not speaking for the ANC. He speaks for himself. I think he was asking the ANC to make this consideration; we believe disciplinary committees must do their work,” Duarte said.
She said rule 25 of the party’s constitution, about the management of organisational discipline, remained.
“When action needs to be taken, it must be taken. We won’t continue on a trajectory that says we must not take action when people have done wrong things because of stress,” Duarte said.
“What we do need to remember, is not to accuse people willy-nilly without facts. Proper processes have to be followed otherwise that creates injustice,” Duarte said.
She stressed that those being put through disciplinary processes faced various transgressions, not only corruption claims. She said even ill-discipline or behaving in ways inconsistent with the party’s constitution warranted action.
Duarte said the party’s numerous structures, including its national executive committee, national working committee and top six meetings, were all taking place via virtual platforms, along with memorial services and lectures.
“All activities of the organisation that can be run on virtual platforms should do so,” she said.
Duarte said adapting to the new normal had also enabled the party to start engaging with its branches and to address issues in wards via the cloud system, which is updated daily.