'Fire MPs who intend joining new party now'

Anna Majavu

Anna Majavu

Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) leader Zwelinzima Vavi says the ANC must boot out MPs who intend to defect to the soon-to-be-launched South African Democratic Congress party and are just "hanging on for the sake of their R60000 a month salaries".

Vavi argues that the MPs who want to defect are only hanging on to enjoy the 11 percent raise Judge Dikgang Moseneke has proposed for them. At the end of their term next year they will jump ship, he says.

"If the MPs have decided that the ANC is a threat to the Constitution there is no need for them to remain in the party any longer," Vavi said.

He refused to disclose the names of MPs he expected would leave the ANC, saying the party needed to approach the MPs first.

Last month Judge Dikgang Moseneke recommended that all public office bearers, including MPs, get an 11 percent salary hike, backdated to April.

MPs also got a whopping R80000 a year increase to their nontaxable allowance, which was increased from R40000 a year to R120000.

This means that MPs who quit the ANC now, rather than next year, face losing R66500 a month, their free accommodation in Cape Town's parliamentary villages and their travel privileges.

They will also lose a few months of pension contributions the state will have made to their pension funds between now and next year's elections.

The SADC reportedly offers salaries to people who resign from their jobs to work full-time for Shikota.

But former SACP treasurer and now SADC spokesman Philip Dexter denied this, saying the party would not be able to pay MPs their salaries if they quit parliament now.

Dexter claimed that Vavi had invented the rumours that the SADC was courting MPs.