Will he or won't he? Surprise twist in ANC Nelson Mandela Bay race

2017-03-11 19:54
The ANC regional congress in Nelson Mandela Bay. (Thulani Gqirana, News24)

The ANC regional congress in Nelson Mandela Bay. (Thulani Gqirana, News24)

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Cape Town – There was a surprise twist in the Nelson Mandela Bay elections on Saturday, when a former ANC youth league deputy chairperson suddenly pulled out of the race for the top spot.

Andile Lungisa was running for the chairperson of the region, but on Saturday afternoon he declined the nomination for the position.

The former NYDA chair was nominated by 38 out of 42 branches.

This, after Lungisa chose to defy a letter from Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe, which prohibited members who were part of higher structures from running for lower structures in the party.

But he did an about turn on Saturday, and said he would listen to the directive.

'ANC structures about serving'

"I could defy the letter, but I chose not to," he confirmed before the nomination process.

But by this evening, there was again uncertainty over whether he would run or not, as the delegates debated his fate and the letter from Mantashe.

In his letter, Mantashe reminded members of a resolution made in the 53rd National Congress, where members would not be allowed to serve simultaneously in more than one constitutional structure.

"We have consistently interpreted this as prohibiting comrades from higher organisations of the ANC from contesting positions in lower organs," Mantashe wrote.

"Any attempt to resign from the PEC in the run-up to the regional conference must not be allowed as it is opportunistic. Comrades must be reminded that the ANC structures are about serving, not power," Mantashe says in the letter.

The party in the province has been fighting deep factions, which were evident during the congress.

Read more on:    anc  |  port elizabeth  |  politics

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