ANC Issues Stinging Rebuke to Its Key Leaders
Jeremy Michaels, Sapa
As the battle between Deputy President Jacob Zuma and Scorpions boss Bulelani Ngcuka resumes, the ruling African National Congress has issued a stinging rebuke to key leadership figures in its ranks.
Smuts Ngonyama, the head of the presidency in the ANC, yesterday berated Ngcuka, former Justice Minister Penuell Maduna and Public Protector Lawrence Mushwana for making "ill-considered" statements about each other.
In another bruising battle over the Scorpions' corruption investigation into Zuma, Ngcuka and Maduna traded blows with Mushwana over the weekend, describing the Public Protector on SABC-TV as having "no backbone".
Public Protector Lawrence Mushwana said yesterday that "public interest" would ultimately inform his decision on how to deal with remarks made over the weekend by Maduna and Ngcuka.
"The parliamentary process of dealing with the recommendations contained in the report now has to be allowed to take its course," he said.
He asked the media "to be patient and not to insist on further statements in regard to this matter".
He said his decision would be announced during the course of next week.
After a meeting of its National Working Committee (NWC) on Monday, the ANC called on all involved "to act in a manner befitting their position, and to exercise due respect for these important institutions of state".
"The NWC expressed concern and disquiet at certain ill-considered public statements that have been made since the release of the report," according to the statement.
Asked late yesterday who the ANC NWC was referring to, Ngonyama said : "We are talking about altercations between Lawrence Mushwana, Bulelani Ngcuka and Penuell Maduna - all three of them. Their statements are ill-considered."
The ANC NWC said that Mushwana's report "should be processed by parliament as a priority", adding that it would not comment on the public protector's findings "until all the relevant processes have been completed".
"The meeting reiterated the need for all South Africans to respect the status and function of institutions like the Public Protector and the National Prosecuting Authority, and to allow them to fulfil their mandate without let or hindrance," the statement said.
With acknowledgements to Jeremy Michaels, Sapa and the Cape Times.