ANC MP and former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo and the ANC Women’s League secretary Bitsa Lenkopane have both announced that they’ll be challenging their five-year suspension from the party.
The North West disciplinary committee earlier this week found the pair guilty of misconduct. They were suspended two weeks ago amid claims that they held a parallel rally metres away from one held by the party’s interim leadership committee (IPC) in Mareetsane six months ago.
On Thursday, both Mahumapelo and Lenkopane revealed that they were both not formally informed about their suspension.
Mahumapelo said around 2018 and 2019 someone from the provincial office had written that he must be expelled from the ruling party.
“Now they come in the form of the disciplinary committee (DC) to execute what they’ve been writing in their own WhatsApp group.”
Mahumpelo also confirmed Lenkopane’s statement in which she indicated that the suspension was announced in her absence without her side of the story presented and or heard.
“We have not even pleaded. The DC has not reached a stage where we are asked whether we are pleading guilty or not guilty. We are not there yet. We got stuck on them having to recuse themselves, them having to give us further particulars which they don’t want to give us and according to the letter of Luthuli House when they were established as an IPC… it’s clear in the letter that if you want to embark on disciplinary processes, you will require approval from the office of the secretary-general’s office (SGO). We said they must give us the approval… there’s no approval.”
“They’ve taken a decision. We respect it. We will follow the due process of the ANC and see where the NDC will end on the particular matter,” Mahumpelo said.
He added: “I’ve never disrupted any meeting. If I had disrupted a meeting and had my membership suspended for five-years, I’d understand because that’s gross misconduct. But I can’t be suspended for doing door-to-door.”
According to Lenkopane, she was informed about her suspension through the media.
“There have been a lot of calls for clarity from comrades, media, organisations like church and NPOs where I play a role as a leader. Members of my community, family and my own children have also been calling for an explanation. I have been on record that this decision is more of intimidation and purging in attempts to prevent me from doing my work as a leader with the ANC and defend my rights as a member in good standing. I respect the ANC Constitution and its policies, and have decided to appeal the matter to the higher structure, the ANC National Disciplinary Committee (NDC), and to allow all internal processes of the organisation to unfold as allocated in Rule 25.36. The NDC acknowledged receipt of my appeal. I have further written to the IEC, Speaker of the North West Legislature and Secretary to note the developments. They were also informed of the appeal lodged and that the status quo remains.”