KZN ANC 'rebels' lash out at leaders

Durban – The so-called rebel group of ANC members in KwaZulu-Natal has lashed out at national and provincial leadership, saying branch elections processes are being manipulated ahead of the December national conference.

In September, the group won a court case that declared the KZN elective conference, where the current leadership was elected, null and void.

Sthembiso Mshengu said that all regions of the party in the province met with ANC President Jacob Zuma on October 2.

At that meeting, officials said they would come back within a reasonable time to address the matter, Mshengu said.

"It is exactly four weeks without any sight of the national officials. Once more, the ANC national executive has not kept to its word."

Mshengu went on to claim that the sitting provincial executive committee (PEC) stripped some regions, including the Lower South Coast, of its political powers to manipulate conference processes.

READ: KZN ANC gives Dlamini-Zuma the thumbs up

Mshengu said that there were, however, areas where branch nominations were going well.

"We have had three weeks of branch nominations in the province and are delighted of the positive outcomes, especially in the regions like Far North, Abaqulusi, Inkosi Bhambatha and Emalahleni."

He lamented the need for bigger areas to comply with policy and procedure.

"It must be noted though that, in regions like eThekwini, Moses Mabhida and Harry Gwala, we have seen unprecedented acts of hooliganism and outright fraud in the branch general meetings [BGM], where members with valid membership are removed from the roll of members."

Mshengu claimed that guidelines were not followed in many instances.

"In many of these branches, we have lodged grievances with the electoral commission."

He added: "The guidelines further instruct that the BGMs would be supervised members of Parliament, MPLs and the NEC, but this is not happening. Instead, the [ANC] Youth League and other people who do not belong to any structures, preside."

READ: Bloodshed in KZN as ANC tensions rise

Mshengu said the NEC had a responsibility to "rescue the reputation of the ANC".

"Its constitutional processes must be saved from the ravage of disparate people. We have so far secured 157 nominations in the province and going to the last week of the nominations, and we are hopeful that we will do even better given the very difficult political conditions we operate under."

Meanwhile, Mshengu said the appeal for the High Court matter between the rebels and the sitting PEC would be heard on November 13.

"We are expecting nothing less than a pronouncement from the judges, granting us the execution order. We hope the defendants for once will not find excuses as they know that they shouldn’t be in office as almost all of them are being nominated in their manipulated BGMs as delegates."

ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa and provincial spokesperson Mdumiseni Ntuli did not immediately comment on the matter.

Aggrieved KZN ANC members, who legally challenged the results of the party's 2015 provincial conference and won, will oppose an appeal launched in the matter by the PEC. ANC member Lawrence Dube and four others brought the court case against the ANC in May 2016.

The ANC members challenged the results of the conference that saw incumbent chairperson Sihle Zikalala replacing former premier Senzo Mchunu.

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