Intervene or else: Vexed ANC members threaten Mpumalanga elections

By Drum Digital
23 September 2015

Disgruntled ANC members in Mpumalanga are likely to form a new civic organisation to contest the 2016 local government elections if Luthuli House does not intervene in the party’s affairs.

Disgruntled ANC members in Mpumalanga are likely to form a new civic organisation to contest the 2016 local government elections if Luthuli House does not intervene in the party’s affairs.

Two sources, who attended the meeting of the Save Mpumalanga ANC core leadership, told City Press that they planned to register the organisation – which will be named Mpumalanga Residents Association – to focus on service-delivery issues.

Save Mpumalanga ANC was formed by disenchanted members in protest against the alleged violation of party processes by Premier David Mabuza’s camp to ostracise dissenters and entrench his allies in leadership positions, from branch to provincial executive committee level.

The group also vehemently opposed a resolution taken by the provincial general council earlier this year that endorsed Mabuza to stay on as provincial ANC chairperson for a third term. They alleged that the delegates to the general council were fraudulently appointed because no branch meetings sat.

“The view is that this group will contest the ANC in the elections unless the national executive committee does something about their grievances,” one of the sources said.

Save Mpumalanga ANC leader, Sipho Monareng, gave a hint to this initiative last week when he told a media conference that they would launch their own branches parallel to those of the ANC.

Asked which upper ANC structure would recognise the branches, Monareng said: “These parallel structures will have the support of the owners of the ANC, which are the masses on the ground.”

Monareng said the group might also have its own provincial congress and elect its leaders when the ANC elective congress sits next month to re-elect Mabuza as chairperson.

ANC officials – deputy chairperson David Dube, secretary Lucky Ndinisa, deputy secretary Violet Siwela and treasurer Andries Gamede – announced last month that they supported Mabuza’s re-election and distanced themselves from a Save Mpumalanga ANC list that included them as preferred leaders.

The group, however, insist that Dube would contest Mabuza.

Former Mbombela mayor and head of the safety and security department, Isaiah Khoza, who defected to the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) last week confirmed that he was part of the meeting that took the decision to form the Mpumalanga Residents Association.

“I can confirm that decision was taken, but I cannot be sure if it will still be implemented since I have left the ANC,” Khoza said.

Monareng however denied that the idea of a civic organisation had been discussed.

“It could be that individuals have discussed it. We’re waiting for Friday to meet the national executive committee then we’ll announce our next action if we’re not satisfied,” he said.

The national executive committee was expected to postpone the provincial elective conference until after the local government election to avoid having a bad effect as a result of the divisions.

Senior cadres join EFF

The news of the proposed civic organisation come a week after the ANC lost two cadres in Khoza and former member of Parliament, Tseko Taabe, last week. Taabe also joined the EFF.

Both men said they were fed up with the way Mabuza ran the organisation and were not prepared to take counter offer to return to the ANC.

Second splinter group in Mpumalanga

The civic organisation will be the second splinter group from the ANC in Mpumalanga in four years. Before the 2012 local government elections, disgruntled ANC members in Bohlabela region (Bushbuckridge), formed the Bushbuckridge Residents Association.

The association went on to win seven seats in the Bushbuckridge local municipality and in 2014 won one seat in the Mpumalanga legislature after the general elections.

Source: News24

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