“I can confirm that I received a letter of temporary suspension. For contents please check with the provincial secretary of the ANC, but am busy dealing with my day to day issues as deployed on 25 May 2014 by the NEC of the ANC as the Speaker of Limpopo Provincial Legislature. “
This is the comment of Merriam Ramadwa, who has received a letter of suspension from Nocks Seabi, Provincial Secretary of the ANC. Her suspension followed her refusal to resign as Speaker of the Legislature after being asked twice to do so. The ANC has plans to deploy Polly Boshielo as new Speaker.
In the meantime, the Spokesperson of the Legislature Andries Lekalakala told Polokwane Observer that the Speaker is elected in terms of Section 111 of the Constitution, and another Speaker cannot be elected as long as the current Speaker has not tendered her resignation or she has been expelled by her party, in this case the ANC, which she represents in the Legislature.
Seabi said: “The ANC in Limpopo has taken a decision to temporarily suspend the membership of comrade Merriam Ramadwa as a member of the ANC pending the outcome of her disciplinary hearing. Notice of suspension was served on comrade Ramadwa on Saturday, 15 August 2015. The temporary suspension is in line with Rules 25.9; 25.56 and 25.60 of the ANC Constitution.
Seabi said the reasons for suspension and instituting disciplinary proceedings against Ramadwa are detailed in her letter of suspension, which remains privileged between the ANC and Ramadwa. “She will be served with a charge sheet within thirty (30) days of her receipt of her letter of suspension,” he said.
The implications of her suspension are that her ANC membership is temporally suspended and she cannot act as a member, including at a branch, and she cannot represent the ANC in any capacity including as a public representative. Although the letter is “privileged”, the reasons for the suspension have already leaked out in the media and is reported to be failure or refusal to work with the deployees of the ANC in the Legislature, placing the ANC in Limpopo in disrepute and gross insubordination to the ANC’s structures.
The letter on behalf of the Working Committee of the ANC said it considered as serious Ramadwa’s “misconduct and flagrant defiance” and the impact thereof on the ANC’s reputation. The ANC in May began the process to oust Ramadwa as Speaker, but she consistently refused to resign as MPL to exchange her position with Boshielo, a Member of Parliament in Cape Town. Joe Maswanganyi was eventually exchanged as MP with Boshielo, who was sworn in as MPL in June.
Ramadwa is member of both the ANC and the SACP Executive in the province. “All SACP members must respect and follow the rules of organizations where they are deployed.”
This is the response of Machike Thobejane, Spokesperson of the South African Communist Party in Limpopo. Thobejane said the SACP is in alliance with the ANC, but also functions independently.