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Mbalula says Zuma’s disciplinary hearing won’t take place before election – not even virtually

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ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula has dismissed reports of a virtual disciplinary hearing planned for the party’s former president, Jacob Zuma.

Jacob Zuma addresses MK Party supporters outside the Johannesburg High Court. File picture: Itumeleng English, Independent Newspaper.

ANC SECRETARY-general Fikile Mbalula has dismissed reports of a virtual disciplinary hearing planned for the party’s former president, Jacob Zuma.

The reports of a virtual hearing set for Tuesday followed earlier reports that the hearing had been postponed until after the elections due to security concerns at the Luthuli House venue in Johannesburg.

A new letter, purportedly sent directly to Zuma by the office of national disciplinary committee chairperson Ralph Mgijima, stated that a virtual meeting would take place on Tuesday, May 7, the SABC News reported.

This comes after Zuma, who now heads the MK Party, publicly announced that he would vote against the ANC in the forthcoming elections. This while he remains an ANC member.

However, on Sunday, Mbalula told journalists in Johannesburg that even the virtual hearing was not going to happen. He said the national disciplinary committee has been instructed to put on ice the Zuma hearings, even through digital platforms.

“No, we said the NDC (national disciplinary committee) must stand in abeyance, including virtually, until after elections. We do not expect anything to take place on Tuesday, as the instruction has been communicated,” said Mbalula.

He said security concerns were the reasons for postponing the hearing against Zuma.

Mbalula said there were forces that sought to use the upcoming election to undo the progress of democracy in South Africa, and that it was in this context that the national disciplinary committee was called to consider postponing disciplinary hearings at the party’s headquarters.

“In pursuance of this duty and based on an assessment of the security situation prevailing at Luthuli House the SGO (secretary-general’s office) was advised that activities that have the potential to attract large gatherings that might result in violent or disruptive behaviour are not advisable, especially so close to election day,” Mbalula said.

“This is exacerbated by the activities of certain political parties in organising demonstrations and sit-ins at Luthuli House.”

The secretary-general said the ANC’s constitution prescribes that the national executive committee respect the integrity of the national disciplinary committee and thereby takes all necessary steps to support its work, which includes ensuring the safety of its members.

In a clear reference to Zuma, Mbalula said : “These members have in the eyes of ANC members and society effectively constructively resigned or expelled themselves from the ANC. Notwithstanding this reality, the ANC is committed to the rule of law and following the provisions processes set out in the ANC constitution, including disciplinary processes.

“Some of these elements, including former leaders of the ANC, have through their pronouncements and actions clearly and unambiguously placed themselves outside the ANC through violation of its constitution, the solemn contract between the organisation and its members.”

He said the party was committed to developing and, where necessary, correcting its members and leaders. However, those whose conduct was in conflict with its values and principles, would find themselves outside of the ANC.

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