14/08/2017 11:01 SAST | Updated 14/08/2017 13:26 SAST

ANC 'Rebel' MPs Won't Be Fired And Won't Back Down -- Analyst

"Let us expect chaos, more chaos and even more chaos in the march towards December," says political analyst Prince Mashele.

Getty Images / The Times / Thuli Dlamini

Although already facing charges from the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal, outspoken ANC MP Makhosi Khoza and other so-called 'rebel MPs' have an upper hand in the disciplinary structures of the ANC and won't be fired, political analyst Prince Mashele said on Monday.

President Jacob Zuma on Sunday called for the ANC's constitution to be applied against ANC members of parliament who voted in favour of his removal as head of state in the no confidence vote last week.

Zuma read excerpts from the ANC's constitution prohibiting party members from collaborating with "counter-revolutionary forces"or opposition parties, Times Live reported.

"If you commit any of these acts, it means the ANC has to take you to the disciplinary committee because you have broken the law," he said.

Disciplinary channels in the ANC, however, are on the side of the so-called 'rebel' MPs, Mashele told HuffPost SA.

Vocal opponents of Zuma include Khoza who on Monday again derided the current status of the ANC in a Facebook post, saying most MPs chose a "kleptocracy" in the vote of no confidence and the ANC had become a "shadow of its former self".

"It will be complicated to discipline the likes of Makhosi Khoza," Mashele said.

"Although there is already a process underway to discipline her, it will get nowhere because she'll obviously appeal to the national office".

The provincial structures do not have the authority to finalise a disciplinary matter and fire someone, which means ratification at the national level would be required, he said.

The anti-Zuma camp, however, has a strong presence in the ANC's disciplinary structures and will prevent the 'rebel' MPs who voted against Zuma from facing disciplinary action, he said.

"Once the matter is reported to the office of the secretary-general, this office then refers the matter to the disciplinary committee which is chaired by NEC member Derek Hanekom. If that committee finds the person guilty and recommends action, the person can appeal to the appeals tribunal which is chaired by deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa," he said.

"The names I've listed already show that nobody is going to be disciplined, nobody is going to be fired," he said.

Rather, the ANC will experience further internal chaos in the lead-up to the elective conference in December as factions battle for party dominance. Mashele said various leaders in the ANC will continue to make contradictory statements on various platforms which will "serve to confuse the membership and the public, and ultimately serve to divide the party further".

These divisions, rather than resulting in disciplinary processes against 'rebel' MPs or those including Khoza and Mondli Gungubele who have publicly chastised the president, will only be resolved in the elective conference, he said.

"Let us expect chaos, more chaos and even more chaos in the march towards December."

'It's not just Makhosi Khoza and Pravin Gordhan'

Political analyst Somadoda Fikeni, meanwhile, said disciplinary action against MPs who are denouncing the president would likely lead to a "rupture and a split".

"It's not just Makhosi Khoza, or Pravin Gordhan," he said, referring to the growing body of MPs ostensibly unsupportive of Zuma.

"Whether there will be disciplinary action is not at this stage clear-cut and will depend on whether the anti-Zuma faction is strong enough to see off such threats," Fikeni told HuffPost SA.

Fikeni emphasised that the failed motion of no confidence did not necessarily indicate support for Zuma but was rather "the last effort to save party unity, hence the focus of the ANC's parliamentary speeches on the party rather than as a defence of Zuma".

"The reality is that the person who has been reported to have brought the ANC into disrepute on several occasions is none other than the president himself. There could be no better candidate of bringing the party into disrepute than its own leader," he said.

The ANC national working committee is expected to meet later on Monday to discuss potential disciplinary action against the MPs who voted with the opposition last week.