Regional vote: Moses Mabhida activists threaten boycott

2011-08-11 00:00

AS the ANC’s 11 KwaZulu-Natal regions prepare to hold their elective conferences, ANC activists in the trouble-torn Moses Mabhida region (Pietermaritzburg) are threatening to boycott the conference because they believe the environment is not conducive for the conference.

ANC KZN provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala said the 11 regions are expected to elect new leaders between this month and November, which will culminate in a provincial elective conference before the end of the year.

The spokesperson for the Pietermaritzburg activists, Sbongile Mkhize, told The Witness yesterday that it was decided at a meeting this week that they will boycott the elective conference.

The ANC activists staged a sit-in protest at the ANC regional offices for more than a month.

They were demanding that the provincial executive committee (PEC) remove the regional executive committee (REC) and submitted their grievances regarding the nomination of election candidates to the ANC’s national task team, which is led by ANC national executive committee member Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

They also complained that the REC is blocking prospective ANC members from joining the organisation because of perceptions that they will oppose the REC members in the elective conference.

Mkhize said the environment in the region is not conducive to an elective conference and that only people who want factionalism to triumph “would hold an elective conference under these current circumstances”.

“We are not rejecting the regional elective conference altogether, but we want the ANC to stabilise the situation first because as it stands that will promote factionalism. There is no constitutional obligation for the region to hold its conference even when the situation is not normal, unless someone wants a fragmented ANC.

“We have nothing personal against the outgoing REC members, but for an ANC leader to successfully lead the ANC, there should be unity within the organisation,” Mkhize said.

An ANC leader said that to address the activists’ concerns, the provincial executive committee opened a recruitment drive for two weeks until August 1 to level the playing field before the conference.

“Their plan to boycott the regional conference has no grounds now because they were given an opportunity to recruit,” the ANC leader said.

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