Publication: Business Day Issued: Date: 2004-07-06 Reporter: Sphiwe Mboyane

Top ANC Team to Solve Disputes



Business Day

Date 2004-07-06


Sphiwe Mboyane

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The African National Congress (ANC) national executive committee has appointed a high-powered six-member committee to look into the recent public dispute between Scorpions boss Bulelani Ngcuka, former justice minister Pen uell Maduna and Public Protector Lawrence Mushwana.

The inquiry into the trio's public conduct follows calls for unity within the party by the party leadership, which met in Pretoria at the weekend.

The committee includes ANC president Thabo Mbeki, his deputy, Jacob Zuma, national chairman Mosiuoa Lekota and treasurergeneral Mendi Msimang.

This committee will submit its finding to the national executive committee, which will take a final decision on the matter.

At the centre of the public row between the three was a finding by Mushwana that Ngcuka had violated Zuma's constitutional rights when he said last year that he would not prosecute Zuma for allegedly soliciting a bribe from a French arms company involved in the arms deal, even though he had prima facie evidence against him.

Ngcuka and Maduna accused Mushwana of being a liar, and dismissed his report as nonsensical.

The ANC berated the three, saying they had failed to behave in a manner befitting their positions.

It raised concern that their behaviour might undermine the integrity of the institutions they represented.

Some within the party called for tough action to be taken against Maduna and Ngcuka.

Party spokesman Smuts Ngonyama said yesterday the main aim of the committee was to look at future mechanisms to deal with conflicts among its leaders.

"The committee will look at how the matter was handled by its senior leaders," he said.

"It will look at what steps should be followed in the future to deal with similar matters," he said.

The National Assembly has already given Ngcuka a mild rebuke over his conduct, but declined to take action against him.

The assembly insisted there was a need for respect for both Ngcuka's and Mushwana's offices.

With acknowledgements to Sphiwe Mboyane and the Business Day.