Anti-Zuma man fights suspension

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

Controversial ANC member Siyanda Mhlongo has challenged his suspension by the party in KwaZulu-Natal.

Mhlongo, a member of the Groutville branch that is seen as anti-Zuma, was suspended last week after the provincial disciplinary committee found him guilty of violating five rules of the party's code of conduct.

Mhlongo said charges against him were instituted immediately after he made a presentation before the provincial ANC investigation into the heckling of President Thabo Mbeki during the reburial of ANC and SACP stalwart Moses Mabhida at Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg early this year.

One of those who were investigated for the incident was the party's provincial secretary, Senzo Mchunu.

Video footage of the incident, however, showed Mchunu standing among the crowds trying to calm them down, but they ignored him and left.

Mhlongo said: "Subsequently, I was charged for violating five rules of the ANC constitution.

"Among the charges against me was that I allegedly insulted our deputy president Jacob Zuma by saying 'our country will never be ruled by a rapist and a fraudster'.

"But the verdict is silent on four main charges laid against me, including that of insulting the deputy president.

"All I said and will continue to say is that people must elect leaders of high moral standing because former leaders of the movement such as Albert Luthuli, Nelson Mandela and Mbeki were men of high moral standards," Mhlongo said.

Mhlongo and another ANC member Phillip Mhlongo - not related - were accused of being pro-Mbeki.

At some stage Phillip was accused of having called Zuma an idiot who was being manipulated by Indians.

The ANC's media liaison officer, Tiyani Rikhotso, confirmed that the national disciplinary committee has received Mhlongo's complaint and that it was receiving the necessary attention.