NEC to step in at Cape region

2017-07-02 06:00
ANC flag at the party's national policy conference. (Video screengrab)

ANC flag at the party's national policy conference. (Video screengrab)

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The ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) is expected to intervene in the Western Cape, where the provincial leadership is facing off with the province’s largest ANC region.

The provincial executive committee (PEC) dissolved the leadership of the Dullah Omar region, which covers the Cape Town metropole, early last Sunday morning, and replaced it with a regional task team led by former PEC member Leonard Ramatlakane and including former Hawks head Anwa Dramat, among others.

But the regional leadership is not taking its dissolution lying down. While it is not appealing the move, the region is counting on the more powerful NEC to reverse the decision.

Chairperson of the disbanded structure, Xolani Sotashe, confirmed the NEC intervention, saying: “The matter is being dealt with by the ANC NEC. The NEC will go down [to Cape Town] to deal with the matter.”

A number of sources in the PEC accused the Dullah Omar region of defiance and of undermining the provincial structure.

The underlying issues relate to the upcoming elective conference of the ANC, where the PEC is believed to support Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to succeed President Jacob Zuma, while the Dullah Omar region is firmly in the Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma camp.

The PEC charged that the leadership of the Dullah Omar region did not accept the outcome of the past provincial conference, where the current PEC was elected. This, according to a draft document of the PEC, resulted in the Dullah Omar regional leadership disregarding correspondence and meetings with the PEC and its officials.

“The regional executive committee did not seek a working relationship with the PEC. As a result, they disregarded the programme of establishing zonal structures across the Cape Town metropolitan area as directed in ANC policy, and as instructed by the PEC, as crucial preparation for the 2016 local election campaign in the city,” it said.

The PEC also claims that the regional leadership did not align its membership system with that of the rest of the province and also of running a parallel campaign ahead of last year’s local government election campaign, which resulted in the ANC’s worst election performance in the City of Cape Town.

Hours after their dissolution on Sunday, Sotashe, who was the ANC’s mayoral candidate for Cape Town last year, held a press conference where he and leaders of other regions, and some of the party’s PEC, called for the PEC to be disbanded.

Sotashe was quoted in Cape newspapers as saying that several attempts by his leadership and that of other regions to have “bilaterals” with the provincial structure had fallen on deaf ears.

City Press has seen a letter from the ANC’s provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs to ANC branches informing them about the dissolution of the regional executive committee and the appointment of a regional task team.

“This PEC decision has not been made in haste or lightly. It was made after serious consideration, and after many attempts to get the Dullah Omar regional executive committee to work together with and accept the PEC leadership collective.

“The Dullah Omar regional executive committee has consistently undermined the PEC’s decisions, directives and programmes,” wrote Jacobs.

He also accused the Dullah Omar regional executive committee of having failed to serve and lead branches and membership in an open, inclusive and transparent manner, resulting in factionalism and marginalisation of members and branches with differing points of views.

Convener of the NEC deployees in the Western Cape, Derek Hanekom, told City Press how the PEC meeting on Saturday was disrupted by a group of people who identified themselves as coming from two ANC branches in Khayelitsha.

“They walked in at about 21:30 and disrupted the meeting. For a while, the meeting could not continue. It continued after notices were sent out to everybody because some people left. It’s unfortunate that the leadership of Dullah Omar left because these branches were from their region,” he said.

Hanekom said the meeting resumed at 02:00 on Sunday, but that he was not there when the decision to dissolve the regional executive committee of the region was made.

Hanekom also revealed that it was not the first time that the PEC had dealt with the Dullah Omar dissolution.

“It was in the PEC more than two months ago as a proposal. I was at that PEC, where, as an NEC deployee to the province, I thought let’s try to resolve it through some kind of facilitation and find out what exactly the problems are and try to work through the problems, however, it didn’t amount to that,” he said.

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