ANC stops lekgotla

2017-02-15 06:01
Disgruntled members from various ANC branches in the Northern Cape congregate at the provincial legotla at the Horseshoe Motel on Monday (13/02) to voice their dis­satisfaction. Photos: Emile Hendricks

Disgruntled members from various ANC branches in the Northern Cape congregate at the provincial legotla at the Horseshoe Motel on Monday (13/02) to voice their dis­satisfaction. Photos: Emile Hendricks

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Signs of division amongst the members of the ANC were visible on Monday (13/02) when factions clashed and stopped the provincial lekgotla that was hosted at the Horseshoe Motel in Kimberley.

At least three people were reportedly injured, while an unconfirmed number were arrested.

Road users were warned on social media to stay clear of the N12 Road towards Cape Town, as well as the filling station in the area, out of concern of possible riots underway.

Accusations were thrown around by two factions.

One faction called themselves the “Concerned ANC members”.

The lekgotla came to a halt during the first part of the day after taxis carrying disgruntled ANC members arrived at the venue.

The disgruntled members, who were clearly supporters of premier Sylvia Lucas, were carrying placards and came from various ANC branches across the province to voice their concerns to the National Executive Committee (NEC) leadership that they expected would be at the lekgotla.

Lucas is in contest with the provincial secretary, Zamani Saul, for the leadership position in the province.

The Lucas supporters cried foul as they accused Saul and NEC member Mcebisi Skwatcha, who had been deployed to the province for political guidance, of manipulating the list process in their favour ahead of the party’s provincial conference expected to be hosted next month.

Skwatcha and Saul were accused of manipulative processes to rip the ANC policy and therefore use municipalities to fight their battles.

They also accused Saul of reporting non-existent branch general meetings, which, according to them, has become fashionable in the Northern Cape.

The members said they will not sit and watch while the party was being destroyed.

They said they have lost so much faith in the provincial leadership that they are planning to take their grie-vances to the NEC.

A meeting between the two factions could not materialise either.

This was after the disgruntled members were personally stopped by the provincial police commissioner, Peter Shivuru, against going to the provincial ANC offices and holding a peaceful protest.

“We came with the intention of meeting our leadership after learning of this gathering.

“We were expecting the NEC delegation to be here,” said the branch secretary of the Richard Nkomo branch in Jan Kempdorp, Mojalefa Sethuntsha.

“We are all ANC members, although it has become the norm that our membership is taken away whenever there are conferences.

“No one owns a title deed or is accountable to the ANC.

“Skwatcha is from the Western Cape and fed the ANC to the DA in that pro-vince through his bad leadership.

“He messed up there – now he brings his tendencies of destroying the party here,” Sethuntsha said.

They claimed to be ready to stand up and speak up when things go wrong in Dikgatlong, Phokwane and the Sol Plaatje Municipality, even though they were removed from branch general meeting databases whenever they raised their grievances.

Later in the day, the media was briefed by Skwatcha where he said no disciplinary measures will be taken against ANC members who were accused of disruptions.

Condemning any unruly and violent behaviour and “hooliganism” during the conference, Skwatcha confirmed that branches had already been audited by the Secretary General.

He said delegates were already in the process of drawing up delegation lists ahead of the provincial conference next month.

“We will do everything in our power to ensure that unity does prevail within the province,” he said.

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