ANC MPs who defied party line are vulnerable to power shift or reshuffle: Analyst

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At least one political analyst believes that some African National Congress (ANC) Members of Parliament who disobeyed a party directive to vote against the Section 89 Phala Phala report in December will be reshuffled out of Cabinet.

Five ANC MPs supported the Section 89 report, implying that they wanted President Cyril Ramaphosa to face impeachment charges. The ANC says the disciplinary process against the implicated MPs is still under consideration.

COGTA Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was the first to lead the charge, voting in favour of Ramaphosa’s impeachment investigation. Other MPs, including Supra Mahumapelo, Mervyn Dirks and Mosebenzi Zwane followed suit.

Thandi Mahambehla voted in favour of the report and later made a U-turn. Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu left the House before the vote. The party has maintained that those implicated will be held accountable.

“We have a party political system and people are here on the party list. Nobody contests a constituency and therefore when we have discussions in the party and take a decision they must be binding,” says ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe.

Even after the NASREC Elective conference in December, the new leadership insisted that the disciplinary process must go ahead.

“The defiance by party members in parliament that matter is deferred to the DC. It’s a straightforward disciplinary issue. The national executive committee was briefed about that matter, that is where it stands and it will not be withdrawn. The disciplinary committee of the ANC will be seized with the matter and finalise it as soon as possible,” says ANC secretary-general, Fikile Mbalula.

One political analyst says Ramaphosa’s allies will push for the sanction of those MPs who defied the party line.

“The reason why they are most likely to push for that is that many people in the senior leadership of the ruling party will push to get into cabinet and I think that the failure to toe the party line at a time when these MPs could not achieve their strategic objectives in parliament has made them be vulnerable to a power shift or a reshuffle,” says political analyst Dr Ongama Mtimka.

ANC spokesman Pule Mabe says the matter is still under consideration.