Axed deputy minister faces ANC wrath

Eric Naki

Eric Naki

Sacked former Deputy Health Minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge could be kicked out of parliament and suspended from the ANC.

She could go the way of other high-profile offenders in the ANC like Mbulelo Goniwe and Tony Yengeni, which could lead to subsequent expulsion from the party.

Madlala-Routledge has been in President Thabo Mbeki's firing line, and he has called on the ANC to discipline her.

Should the party's national working committee endorse the call today, the former deputy minister could be out of parliament sooner rather than later.

Mbeki dismissed Madlala-Routledge after she went on a trip to Spain without his authorisation and for apparently failing to work within the government collective.

Writing in his online ANC Today newsletter on Friday, Mbeki criticised her "lone ranger" approach. He called for the ANC to deal with Madlala-Routledge according to its constitution and disciplinary procedures. This left no doubt that he was instructing the leadership to investigate her public behaviour and take appropriate action against her.

Mbeki highlighted her criticism of the functioning of the Health Department and the government in general, her comments about the meeting she had with him and Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka on August 7 prior to her dismissal and her views on the kind of leaders the ANC must elect at its December conference.

"As we go towards December, I am going to campaign hard to get a leader or leaders I think will be brave to stand up for the truth, for the values my organisation, the ANC stands for. I am going to work very hard in my branch, in my district, my province (KZN) and all over to make sure that we succeed to unite the ANC. It is very important to unite the ANC and choose a leader who the country will support," Mbeki quoted Madlala-Routledge as saying.

It seems her comments about the "leadership issue" will be the nail in her coffin.

" She will have to explain to the party leadership exactly what she meant. Her statement is seen as divisive because she implied that Mbeki did not enjoy support in the country, and that there is a leader waiting to be elected who will unite the ANC.