The removal of outspoken ANC MP Dr Makhosi Khoza as chairperson of the portfolio committee on public service and administration is an indication of how the ANC's factional battles are hampering the work of Parliament.
This is the view of opposition parties after the ANC chief whip, Jackson Mthembu, announced on Thursday that Khoza will be removed due to an "irretrievable breakdown of trust" between her and members of the ANC in the committee.
This is due to Khoza's "public utterances preceding the motion of no confidence vote in President Jacob Zuma and her continued public attacks on ANC leadership and members of her ANC Caucus who voted against the motion".
DA chief whip John Steenhuisen describes the axing as "the clearest example yet of how the ANC's in-fighting is preventing Parliament from doing the people's business".
"The message this sends to other chairpersons and office bearers in Parliament is that if they do their job and fulfil their constitutional obligations in trying to force accountability, they will be punished," said Steenhuisen.
The ANC cannot be trusted, not even by their own Members of Parliament he said.
"The ANC leaves delinquents like Bathabile Dlamini, Faith Muthambi, Mosebenzi Zwane and Mduduzi Manana to put the lives and livelihoods of ordinary citizens at risk yet gun for members who had the guts to vote to remove a President who has literally sold our country to the highest bidder."
EFF leader Julius Malema tweeted shortly after the news broke, "The coward Gwede Mantashe removed Makhosi Khoza as the Chair of the Portfolio Committee. The pig eating its own children, finish and klaar."
In a statement Cope expressed its shock at Khoza's removal.
Punished for putting the country first
"The ANC has once again placed the interests of a morally illegitimate president and narrow factional party interests ahead of the interests of our nation and its constitutional values and order. It's ludicrous that a patriotic South African who exercised her responsibility to put the interests of her country before those of her corrupted and illegitimate president now faces such persecution and retribution," reads the statement.
"The continual betrayal of South Africa and its people by the ANC has now reached irretrievable proportions."
UDM leader Bantu Holomisa reacted to the news on Twitter, saying, "Zuma vendetta. Ferreting out anti-corruption fighters."
DA spokesperson on public service and administration Desiree van der Walt described Khoza as a good, non-partisan spokesperson who took her portfolio very seriously.
Given Khoza's continual comments on the ANC leadership, Van der Walt expected that there would be a reaction against her sooner or later.
Nonetheless, Van der Walt is disappointed by the decision.
"It's actually shocking that you are punished in the ANC when you put the country first," she said.
Van der Walt is concerned that the committee's strong oversight role under Khoza might be diluted under a new chairperson. It is not yet known who this will be.
Two days before Khoza's axing, the committee (minus five ANC MPs who boycotted the meeting because of Khoza) decided to summon minister of public service and administration Faith Muthambi to the committee after she snubbed a meeting where she was to answer to allegations of nepotism and the misuse of funds.
"Under no circumstances must the minister think she will get away," said Van der Walt.