ANC backs Sizani

Stoan Sizani's wife, Nontuthuzela, is facing 30 charges of fraud and money laundering.

The ANC has appointed Stone Sizani its new chief whip in Parliament.

JOHANNESBURG - The ANC says its newly-appointed chief whip Stone Sizani's ability to do his job will not be affected by the 30 fraud and money laundering charges his wife faces.

_The Saturday Star _reported Nontuthuzela "Pankie" Sizani was arrested in Port Elizabeth in December on charges of money laundering and theft amounting to R1.3 million.

She is accused of creating ghost teachers and pocketing their salaries when she headed Port Elizabeth's Early Child Development Unit.

She will go on trial in August.

The ANC's Keith Khoza says the ANC can't judge Sizani for his wife's activities.

"We do not want to prejudice the appointment of Stone Sizani by bringing [in] matters that haven't even been confirmed by the courts," says Khoza.

Sizani, a former United Democratic Front member, was appointed to the post on Thursday. He was previously an MEC in the Eastern Cape government.

He takes over from Mathole Motshekga, who was recalled by the ANC. Motshekga was appointed chief whip in 2009. But his position was called into question after he failed to secure a spot on the ruling party's National Executive Committee at the Mangaung elective conference.