14 November 2017

South Africa: ANC to Intervene in Three 'Troubled' Provinces Over Branch Meetings

Photo: allafrica.com
Top: ANC supporters. Bottom-left: Former finance minister Trevor Manuel. Bottom-right: President Jacob Zuma.

The ANC's national executive committee (NEC) is to intervene in branch general meetings in three provinces over nominations of presidential candidates for the upcoming national elective conference.

Secretary general Gwede Mantashe told journalists during a media briefing on Monday that it would intervene in KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape and the Northern Cape.

At least 70% of branches should hold meetings to nominate leaders ahead of the ANC's 54th national elective conference in December.

News24 has learnt that some branches failed to reach quorum, forcing meetings to be abandoned.

Deadline looms

Mantashe said the NEC has given branches until the weekend to conclude the meetings and warned that there would be no extension.

Giving an idea of the status quo in the provinces, Mantashe said: "The troubled province of the Eastern Cape, as of yesterday was at 56% of BGMs, the Free State at 75.9%, Gauteng at 76%, KZN at 40.8%, Mpumalanga at 95.7%, Limpopo at 73.8%, Northwest at 54.3%, the Western Cape at 66.3 and the Northern Cape at 94%."

He said the party was confident its December conference would be a success.

Disgruntled party members in the Northern Cape have taken the ANC to court asking for the May 8th provincial congress in Colesburg to be reviewed and set aside. KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape are also engaged in court battles over their respective provincial congresses.

"The NEC received a report on the appeal of the Lower South Coast Region in KZN. The Regional Executive Committee [REC] was appealing the decision of the Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) to withdraw the executive powers of the REC, especially in relation to municipal oversight and membership management," explained Mantashe.

He said the REC was expected to continue with its work, which includes the overseeing of branch general meetings and preparation for the upcoming conference.

Deploying dispute teams

Mantashe said dispute teams consisting of NEC members had been deployed across the country to address objections and complaints about branch general meetings.

He also announced that the conference, which takes place under the theme Remember Tambo: Towards Unity, Renewal and Radical Socio-Economic Transformation, will be attended by 5 240 voting delegates.

"Four thousand seven hundred and thirty-one - that is at least 90% of voting delegates - will be branch delegates. The remainder is the 10% that takes us to 5 240, which is your women's' league, your youth league, your veterans' league, your NEC and an allocated number to PECs," said Mantashe.

The secretary general also reflected on the Eastern Cape's violent September congress, which was dubbed "a festival of chairs" by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who later retracted the phrase.

No to violence

Mantashe said the violent conduct displayed at that conference was against the party's values and culture.

Mantashe said the ANC condemned the use of violence to achieve a winning result at conferences and expressed sympathy with those who were injured when delegates started throwing chairs at one another.

The NEC received reports from the NEC deployees to the conference, the elected PEC, the disgruntled group and another by the National Working Committee.

Mantashe said the NEC was "unequivocal" in the need to ensure that all incidents which took place around that conference were investigated speedily.

The NEC resolved to institute a panel to deal with the province's appeal, which is to be chaired by Sibusiso Ndebele. Other members in the task team include Rejoice Mabudafhasi, Joyce Moloi-Moropa and Sdumo Dlamini.

News24

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