Mantashe: ANC leaders can’t hold 2 positions

2014-10-19 06:00

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ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe has written to provinces to remind them that party members who serve on higher structures are not allowed to contest for positions lower on the rung.

Mantashe’s directive will dash the hopes of national executive committee (NEC) members who might harbour ambitions to run for positions in their provincial ANC executives.

In the context of the Western Cape, which is preparing for its provincial conference early next year, it means former strongman Mcebisi Skwatsha – who some said was thinking of going back to contest for the chairmanship – is not eligible to stand for any position because he is a directly elected member of the NEC.

This could also affect Bheki Cele in KwaZulu-Natal, where some branches have touted his name for the chairmanship of eThekwini, the ANC’s biggest branch in the country.

In the letter, which City Press has seen, Mantashe said it had come to Luthuli House’s attention that some NEC members were thinking of contesting for positions in their provinces and some members of provincial executive committees wanted to contest for regional positions.

This, Mantashe wrote, would contravene a resolution adopted at the ANC’s 2012 Mangaung conference that specifically prohibited this practice.

He said the resolution went as far as to prevent those serving on higher structures from resigning to take positions in lower structures.

“There is no provision for resigning from the NEC if elected to a lower structure. NEC members do not qualify to stand for elections in any lower structure of the organisation.

“Comrades are reminded that this decision was taken following the experience that is real in the organisation. This should be respected and enforced,” wrote Mantashe.

Mantashe confirmed his letter in an interview with City Press on Friday.

He said if NEC members were allowed to take up positions in their provinces, it would make it difficult for the governing party to deploy them to various provinces to oversee activities and respond to grievances.

“It limits the capacity of the NEC to deploy all its cadres,” he said.

However, this decision would not affect a person like NEC member Pule Mabe from taking over as president of the youth league because it is considered an autonomous structure.

Jostling for positions has already begun in the Western Cape and early indications are that current chairperson Marius Fransman and provincial secretary Songezo Mjongile will be challenged.

While Skwatsha is not eligible to run, those doing his bidding want former deputy provincial secretary Max Ozinsky to return as secretary.

Fransman, who does not command a lot of support, is said to want inclusion on the Ozinsky ticket and is apparently promising his support if this camp retains him as chairperson.

The Ses’Khona civic group, led by the controversial Andile Lili, could also play the role of kingmaker in the province.

The group is said to be backing provincial treasurer Fezile Calana, who some say might contest Mjongile for the provincial secretary position.

Former provincial youth league leader Siyazi Tyatyam is also lobbying structures to be included in the top five, although it’s not clear what position he is eyeing.

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