ANC not commenting on Sizani’s Nkandla remarks

BY CHARL BOSCH - MARCH 7, 2016

The African National Congress (ANC) has distanced itself from comments by its former Chief Whip Stone Sizani, that members always wanted President Jacob Zuma to pay back the money spent on his Nkandla homestead.

Sizani, who last week announced his resignation from Parliament to take up the position of ambassador to Germany, told the Mail and Guardian on Friday that the ruling party never doubted the findings of Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s Secure in Comfort report, and that certain members also denounced the report tabled by Police Minister Nathi Nhleko.

“When we tabled a report to Parliament and it is public property, everybody knows that is our position. Why would anybody go against that? Why”, Sizani was quoted as saying.

“There was no two ways about this. If you disagreed with the public protector, you needed to take her report for a review”.

In a statement released shortly after, Sizani’s former spokesperson, Moloto Mathapo, said the party would wait for the matter to be resolved by the Constitutional Court first, before making an official announcement.

“All the reports that Parliament considered relating to the Nkandla matter, including the public protector's "Secure in Comfort", are matters of national importance, and we thus believe that Parliament was within its rights to independently consider them and express a view,” he said.

“We believe that Parliament did what it ought to do in line with its understanding of its Constitutional obligations. We therefore await the judgment of the Constitutional Court, which will provide authoritative Constitutional guide on how Parliament must deal with such matters in future”.

Party sources have meanwhile alleged that Sizani’s surprise redeployment could have been as a result of him failing to protect Zuma from a series of scathing attacks by opposition leaders, during the debate on his State of the Nation Address, and the Democratic Alliance’s motion of no confidence sitting.

According to a weekend CityPress article, an unnamed ANC MP claimed Sizani’s performance had caused some to question his trust in Zuma, and that he also received criticism for commenting about his new position in the media.

“It is diplomatically and procedurally wrong. He violated the diplomatic protocols,” an ANC insider allegedly told the paper.

Deputy Chief Whip Doris Dlakude will replace Sizani in an acting position until a new whip is appointed.