Chaos at PMB branches as ANC prepares for conference

2014-09-30 00:00

THE ANC’s Moses Mabhida Region, the party’s second biggest region, has been hit by chaos in its branch general meetings (BGMs) ahead of the regional conference.

Today marks the deadline for the branches to launch. The party is faced with a number of disputes, which were allegedly lodged because of previous branch secretaries in various areas of Pieter­maritzburg and surrounds, flouting guidelines.

Sources inside the ANC said the meetings are very important because delegates from the newly elected branch executive committees (BECs) will represent their respective branches in the upcoming regional conference on November 1 and 2, at a venue yet to be announced.

They said the new delegates will determine the next regional leadership and in 2016 will also influence who becomes a ward councillor and who takes seats on the council executive committees. They will also be responsible for the election of the party’s new provincial leadership.

“This has been closely contested because of the influence these positions hold,” said an ANC insider.

With all the disarray, members are concerned that the party is not ready to have its regional conference.

Insiders who spoke to The Witness on condition of anonymity described the situation as chaotic.

“In Copesville, on Sunday we could not participate in the annual general meeting because we found that our names appeared on the membership roll as new members,” said a source.

New members cannot participate in the process; only those who have been members for over six months are eligible in terms of ANC guidelines.

She said the tensions rose to such an extent that members who challenged this were pepper sprayed.

“I have been a card-carrying member of the ANC since 2011, but my name in the membership roll indicated that I was a new member,” the source said.

In other areas, members absconded with the membership roll and the branch meetings were cancelled.

Another source said: “It is no longer about the organisation, but about who controls the resources.”

He said the problems have been experienced because certain provincial ANC leaders are interfering with the processes because they want to control the newly elected region.

ANC PEC deployee in the region Nhlakanipho Ntombela said the process of attending to disputes will start this week. “There is a team attending to the matter,” he said.

ANC Moses Mabhida acting secretary, Mbali Myeni said the region was ready to host its conference and has no reason to suggest that it should be postponed.

She said those branches that were unhappy with the processes have been given an opportunity to lodge their objections.

“Because the deadline is [today] we are not yet in a position to say how many branches have been launched and how many have lodged grievances,” said Myeni.

She said they still needed to compile a report to the regional executive committee about the outcome of the entire process.

She denied that provincial leaders were interfering with the processes.

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