The African National Congress (ANC) has unveiled its new chief whip. The ruling party announced in Parliament, that former ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu is the party’s new chief whip.
Jackson Mthembu’s appointment has also been confirmed by ANC’s secretary-general Gwede Mantashe.
Mthembu’s appointment is coming after former chief whip Stone Sizani took up the position of South African ambassador to Germany three weeks ago.
We will recall that the ANC had announced at the beginning of March that Sizani was being redeployed. Before taking up the ambassadorial post, Sizani was ANC’s chief whip since 2013. He replaced Mathole Motshekga.
The party confirmed Sizani’s resignation shortly after a special caucus meeting of its Members of Parliament but offered no reason for the decision.
And following Sizani’s departure, MP Doris Dlakude was appointed the party’s acting chief whip.
Meanwhile, the ruling party has expressed confidence in the party’s new chief whip. The ANC said it believes Mthembu has all it takes to fit into Stone Sizani’s shoes.
Before now, the ANC took a resolution at its Mangaung conference in 2012 that its chief whip must be a serving member of the national executive committee.
So, since acting chief whip Doris Dlakude is not an NEC member, the party resorted to pick up Mthembu who is a member of the National Executive Committee as its new chief whip.
It is pertinent to note that not a single ANC chief whip has served a full term.
However, it is glaring that Mthembu has a lot to do to put the ANC back to shape following his appointment. He is expected to instill discipline in the party as well as gain control of Parliament.
It is worthy to note that Mthembu is not a new face in the ruling party neither is he a back-bencher. He was the man who gave an interview to the now-defunct South African Press Association on a criminal charge and South African Human Rights Commission complaint against then-ANC Youth League president Julius Malema for chanting “Shoot the Boers”.
Last week, he vehemently kicked against the Gupta family after Deputy Minister of Finance Mcebisi Jonas’s volcanic announcement that he was offered the top treasury post before ex-finance minister Nhlanhla Nene was axed.
Mthembu asserted that the ruling party should “deal with this arrogance of the Guptas once and for all”.