ANC regional conference still in the balance

2011-10-06 09:18

The ANC in Mpumalanga has apparently not yet solved its branches’ complaints about alleged membership fraud as a regional conference may be postponed for the second time.

The Ehlanzeni conference was initially scheduled to take place last weekend but it was postponed to October 8 for the provincial office to deal with a number of complaints lodged by a camp opposed to Premier David Mabuza.

Most of the complaints pointed fingers at Ehlanzeni regional secretary Pat Ngomane who is allegedly isolating and trying to invalidate membership status’ of comrades considered to be opposed to Mabuza’s re-election as provincial ANC chairperson next year.

However, provincial ANC spokesperson Paul Mbenyane did not give specific reasons for the postponement of the conference.

“The region said it is ready but we advised them to consider postponing as there are queries that need to be attended to,” Mbenyane said.

“We don’t want any disturbances and want the regional conferences to run as smooth as possible. As provincial office we need to be satisfied so the conference may not sit,” he added.

Mbenyane added that the Gert Sibande regional conference was also not going to sit. He said that only Bohlabela was ready to proceed.

The outcome of the Ehlanzeni conference is a crucial yardstick to determine Mabuza’s chances next year.

He has to ensure that all the province’s four regions – namely, Ehlanzeni, Gert Sibande, Bohlabela and Nkangala – are led by his backers in order to get the upper hand against other contenders for his position.

The anti-Mabuza lobbyists in the regions have three successors to lead the province in mind – health MEC Clifford Mkasi, legislature member Fish Mahlalela and provincial ANC deputy chairperson Charles Makola.

For the Ehlanzeni region, the Mabuza camp wants Ngrayi Ngwenya as Ehlanzeni chairperson, Ngomane as secretary and corporative governance and traditional affairs HOD David Mahlobo as deputy secretary.

The other group favours MP Jomo Nyambi as regional chairperson.

It’s not yet clear who they want for the other positions.Branches in Gert Sibande had also been campaigning vigorously to oust Mabuza ally safety and security MEC Vusi Shongwe, as the region’s chairperson.

They want ANC Youth League president Julius Malema’s backer Kgotso Motloung to take over.

Motloung is the league’s provincial chairperson and Gert Sibande executive mayor.

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