Agang needs rapid nursing

2014-06-17 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal wing of the beleaguered political party AgangSA has openly supported a faction seeking to remove the party’s leader.

This comes after a week of carnage in the party’s upper ranks. The party is divided along two factions — one led by the party’s founder Dr Mamphele Ramphele and the other by the party’s deputy president, Andries ­Tlouamma.

The party’s chairperson Mike Tshishonga has likened the power struggle to that of Congress of the People and has openly said his loyalty to the party “is being tested”.

Mervyn Govender — Agang SA KZN provincial leader and community activist in Phoenix — has called the party’s national executive council “dysfunctional” and loaded with “cronies” of Ramphele.

AgangSA in the Eastern Cape backed Ramphele over the weekend.

On Tuesday last week Tshishonga and Tlouamma opened a criminal case against Ramphele at Centurion SAPS. In an e-mail seen by The Witness, they claimed Ramphele had opened a bank account to access party political funding from the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) without a party resolution.

By Friday Ramphele had also opened a case of fraud. But in a startling admission the party’s former chief operations officer Andrew Gasnolar admitted to Weekend Witness that he had forged the IEC documents.

He admitted to using the signatures of Tshishonga and Ramphele without their consent and admitted to having IEC funding of R65 000 deposited into a bank account which he, and not the party, controls.

Gasnolar said he did so all in “good faith”, “in haste” and to appease an “agitated IEC”.

His admission is corroborated by a series of e-mails in which Gasnolar admits his actions Tlouamma.

At an Agang SA interprovincial meeting on Sunday in Braamfontein and condemned by Ramphele, party members agreed that Ramphele be removed within 48 hours.

“We are saying dissolve the NEC. We don’t want this party to fall apart. Our leader parachuted in her friends to the NEC. They were never elected.

“We all have a stake in this party.

“We want her to admit that she has failed the party,” said Govender.

Other resolutions taken at the interprovincial meeting include:

• The financial audit and assets audit to be finalised;

• No salaries must be paid until the financial audit is done;

• The failure of Ramphele not responding to these resolutions within 48 hours will lead to the party seeking to interdict the president from making any unilateral decisions.

But Ramphele said in an e-mail on Sunday that the “so-called national conference” was not an official event.

“The meeting is not an official or

legitimate conference of the party and as such the conference is organised in defiance of the party’s legitimate structures and leadership. As such, it is important to take note that the proposed meeting of individuals is merely a futile exercise in factionalism that cannot pass any binding resolutions,” said Ramphele.

Yesterday, on Youth Day, Tshishonga requested that the “leadership take urgent, decisive and visible action” demanding a “ceasefire between all factions”.

He said the various allegations made by and against Ramphele and Tlouamma would cause “damage to the party as a whole”.

“AgangSA is already in a severely emaciated state; if there is any hope of resurrecting it and nursing it back to life it requires rapid, decisive and corrective action to restore the promise of AgangSA’s birth. I myself am a die-hard party loyalist, but even my endurance is being tested because the party is no longer what I committed loyalty to,” said Tshishonga.

• jonathan.erasmus@witness.co.za

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