'Remove your nose from ANC matters,' Jackson Mthembu tells John Steenhuisen

Minister in the presidency Jackson Mthembu has slammed the DA's John Steenhuisen for "meddling" in the ANC's internal affairs.
Minister in the presidency Jackson Mthembu has slammed the DA's John Steenhuisen for "meddling" in the ANC's internal affairs.
Image: Sunday Times/Esa Alexander

Minister in the presidency Jackson Mthembu has slammed DA leader John Steenhuisen's comments on the ANC integrity commission, telling him to “remove his nose from ANC matters”.

This week, Steenhuisen made several remarks about the ANC's integrity commission and its ability to eradicate corruption within the ruling party.

Steenhuisen's remarks came after ANC leader Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement at the party's national executive committee (NEC) meeting that corruption-accused ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule would appear before the commission later this week.

Magashule is expected to explain himself after he was charged with 21 corruption-related counts linked to a R230m asbestos-eradication tender awarded during his time as Free State premier.

Steenhuisen said the move was not “good enough” and a “slap on the wrist” for Magashule.

He said the ANC treated the integrity commission “as a de facto court where the judges are sympathetic ANC comrades”.

“The DA will not accept the ANC’s elaborately staged pantomime in which comrades are placed on a stage and given a slap on the wrist for South Africans to watch and applaud,” said Steenhuisen.

“The DA will only be applauding when Ramaphosa has the guts to throw his comrades into a jail cell for the treasonous acts committed against our country.”

Mthembu did not take kindly to Steenhuisen’s statement, telling him to stop meddling in other parties' internal affairs.

“The reported comments by the DA leader Steenhuisen on the ANC NEC approach on secretary-general comrade Ace Magahule is totally ill-informed. We want to advise him to act in a mature manner and remove his nose from ANC matters. This is not a parliamentary matter,” said Mthembu.

Mthembu said Steenhuisen could “learn a lot” from the ANC about 'the golden political unwritten rule” of staying out of other parties' affairs.

“Steenhuisen must and should observe the golden political unwritten rule of not meddling in other parties' internal affairs. He can learn a lot from the ANC in this regard,” he said.

Steenhuisen responded to Mthembu, telling him that the mature thing to do is to put SA before the ANC.

“Minister Jackson Mthembu, is it the ‘golden political unwritten rule’ that we don't demand accountability for crimes committed by politicians against our country?” he asked. “ANC corruption affects us all — we can't be silent.”

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