Publication: Die Burger Issued: Date: 2004-07-07 Reporter: Willem Jordaan

ANC to Look at Mushwana Fight



Die Burger

Date 2004-07-07


Willem Jordaan

Web Link


Cape Town - The top structures of the African National Congress (ANC), including President Thabo Mbeki, will investigate how the party handled the conflict between the public protector, Lawrence Mushwana, and the director of public prosecutions, Bulelani Ngcuka.

Smuts Ngonyama, ANC head of communications, said on Tuesday that the ANC's national executive would conduct an investigation into the "harsh words" that fell between Mushwana and Ngcuka, as well as a statement by former justice minister Penuell Maduna. How the ANC handled the conflict will also come under scrutiny.

Ngonyama said the ANC would merely make an "internal judgment" and no report will be made public.

The investigation comes after Mushwana and Ngcuka clashed in public over Mushwana's finding that Ngcuka treated deputy president Jacob Zuma unfairly and inappropriately and that he violated the deputy president's human rights in the corruption investigation into Zuma.

Ngcuka hit back and described Mushwana's findings as "ridiculous". Maduna joined the fray, saying that Mushwana was "spineless" and "a liar".

Meanwhile, it appears that Zuma, the man at the centre of the controversy, will form part of the investigation. The other members of the ANC's national executive committee are Mosiuoa Lekota, ANC chairperson, Kgaleama Motlanthe, secretary-general Sanie Mthembi Mahanyele, deputy secretary, and Medni Msimang, treasurer.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Tuesday that the planned investigation pointed out the problems that result when government deploys senior ANC members in positions that require political impartiality.

Tertius Delport, DA spokesperson on constitutional affairs, said the planned investigation implied that Mushwana and Ngcuka were accountable to the ANC while their positions demanded them to be politically neutral. He said they should resign from the ANC.

Ngonyama could not say whether Mushwana and Ngcuka were still members of the ANC, but he stressed that the investigation was not being conducted to call them to task.

With acknowledgements to Willem Jordaan and Die Burger.