ANC conference divides Ekurhuleni

2017-09-03 06:00
Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma. (GCIS)

Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma. (GCIS)

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The question of who should be the next ANC president has sparked tremors in Gauteng’s third-biggest region in Ekurhuleni as branches plot to march tomorrow to revolt against the regional structure’s decision to endorse Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

The decision to endorse Dlamini-Zuma came after a tense regional executive committee meeting, packed with Ekurhuleni chairperson Mzwandile Masina’s loyalists.

Masina is known to be a staunch supporter of President Jacob Zuma and has been campaigning on the Dlamini-Zuma ticket.

On Tuesday, Masina convened a press conference to endorse Dlamini-Zuma and also indicated that the meeting expressed unequivocal support for himself.

They also endorsed ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe for the position of chairperson in the top six and Paul Mashatile as treasurer-general.

Insiders said the support for Mashatile was a strategic move given that the province had already indicated it wanted him to be in the top six.

City Press has been told that Masina’s detractors in the meeting were out-voted as they tried to argue for Cyril Ramaphosa to take over in December.

Masina does not see eye to eye with some of the regional office bearers, particularly with regional secretary Teliswa Mgwebu and deputy secretary Petrus Mabunda. Mabunda, who was defeated by Masina at the previous conference, is expected to contest Masina in the regional elective conference (REC).

This comes on the back of plots to remove him as chairperson and strip him of his mayoral title in the Ekurhuleni metropolitan council in a process that will see some of his own comrades vote against him.

Masina has dared anyone to attempt to force his removal, pointing out that he would remain leader beyond December when the ANC holds its national conference.

"We will escalate this"

The endorsement has further infuriated branch members in more than 10 subregions, who insist they cannot be dictated to by Masina and his REC.

“They can’t speak for us. Why are they pronouncing on our behalf when our own branches have nominated? So we will escalate this.

“Our main thing that we want is to have this REC to be disbanded and the province to take over the administration,” said Ward 16 branch chairperson Andrew Baloyi.

He and other leaders like Mandlenkosi Punguzwa, ANC secretary in the Oscar Mabika subregion – which consists of 10 branches – were seething this week over the REC’s decision to “bulldoze” branches.

“We would like to distance ourselves from the regional statement that the region supports Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma for ANC presidency.

“Instead, the Oscar Mabika ANC subregion is urgently calling for a regional general conference to organisationally and constitutionally pronounce on this very important question of who should lead our movement when president Zuma’s term ends in December.

“We want to categorically place it on record that our structures support Cyril Ramaphosa for the ANC presidency,” said Punguzwa.

They are now taking the fight to the province’s doorstep.

There were concerns about the gathering, including the REC, being deliberately delayed.

“This is an anomaly.

“We have never had the REC pronounce before branches even meet,” said Baloyi.

But the Gauteng leadership this week tried to allay fears by members, saying all four regions – Ekurhuleni, Greater Johannesburg, Sedibeng and Greater Tshwane – would have sat for their regional general conferences (RGCs) by the end of September.

“RGCs will be convened on the basis of the provincial audit report.

“Quorating and audited branch general meetings to prepare for these regional conferences will start after receiving the signed national audit report by the Office of the Secretary-General. The report is still being awaited,” said spokesperson Sam Modiba.

He urged members to be patient, saying the ANC constitution was clear on the powers of the regional conferences.

Read more on:    anc  |  nko­sazana dlamini-zuma

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