ANC MP Boy Mamabolo has been found guilty of contravening ANC Constitution rules and bringing the party and its parliamentary caucus into disrepute.

The party Chief Whip Pemmy Majodina has written a letter to reprimand Mamabolo for verbally abusing a newspaper journalist Ngwako Malatji. Mamabola has been ordered to write an apology to Malatji, the general public and to attend an anger management course.

In a recording, Mamabolo was heard hurling insults at a journalist and threatening to shoot him for investigating allegations that the MP had made unsavoury remarks about President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to ban the sale of alcohol for the second time.

Malatji provided evidence from a source in the form of cellphone screen-grabs of a WhatsApp conversation in which Mamabolo threatened them with violence.

Mamabolo says he has pleaded guilty on all the charges against him.

“I pleaded guilty to all the charges that I was facing for insulting and threatening Sunday World journalist Mr Ngwako Malatji I pleaded guilty because I wanted us to deal with this matter as soon as possible. I’m going to apologise to Mr Malatji because I believe in media freedom and as a public representative, I’m expected to behave myself in the manner that is dignified. From now on, I know that a private conversation on a cell phone is not different from what we are doing in the public. I will be apologising to Mr Malatji, Sanef and also the public at large.”

The ANC Parliamentary Caucus said on 1 August that they had instituted an internal disciplinary process against Mamabolo for the verbal abuse of Malatji. The Caucus denounced Mamabolo’s behaviour, saying that it strives to maintain a cordial relationship with members of the media and respects the Constitutional values and Bill of Rights.

These include freedom of expression as well as the freedom of the press and other media to do its work.

‘Disciplinary action’

The South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) Executive Director Kate Skinner called on the ANC to take the necessary disciplinary action against Mamabolo.

“We hope that SAPS will take this threat against the journalist seriously and carry out the necessary investigation. We hope that the MP responsible for the threats will be brought to justice to show that this unparliamentary behaviour has no place in our democracy. We also call on the ANC to show that it does not tolerate such behaviour within its ranks and that it will duly take steps to discipline its member.”

The Democratic Alliance has referred Mamabolo’s actions to Parliament’s Ethics Committee.