Dispute dismissed by regional office

2017-11-29 06:01

ANC Sweetwaters branch members are fighting to nullify the meeting at which it chose Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as its preferred candidate.

The ANC Ward 2 Themba Ntombela branch held its general meeting on October 29, but some disgruntled members said party rules were not followed.

However, the ANC’s Moses Mabhida regional secretary, Mzi Zuma, has dismissed their appeal.

“The final decision on the matter is that the dispute/appeal is dismissed based on the fact that the dispute/appeal has been lodged outside the timeline indicated in the national guidelines as adopted by the National Executive Committee of the ANC,” said a letter signed by Zuma on November 14.

Zuma explained that the party guidelines require a dispute be lodged within 48 hours.

“The branch general meeting was held on 29 October 2017, however, the dispute was only submitted to the regional office on 1 November 2017 by Cde Slindo [Mvelase] and his details, as well as the exact time he arrived at the regional office, are recorded in the regional office register.

“This was effectively outside the timelines set by the guidelines,” Zuma wrote.

The complainants have disputed the decision and claim their appeal was made before the deadline.

“Firstly, we would like to bring to your attention that we complied with guidelines, [and] time frames since we gave Cde Thandi [Ngubane, deputy secretary] our dispute as a member of the branch committee,” the complainants wrote.

They claim the appeal was handed over on October 31 – inside the required time.

They also claim the deputy secretary was reluctant to accept their complaint and they had been left with a sense of “distrust” and were not surprised the regional office had not received the dispute on time.

Slindo Mvelase had then taken the dispute document to the regional office.

“We sent Slindo because we had a feeling the deputy secretary would not forward it to the relevant structure,” the letter by the complainants reads.

They also said they sent their dispute to the party’s national office at 10am on October 30.

“We humbly request your office to reconsider our dispute and come to a proper resolution of this matter ... we represent about 244 members of the branch who were deprived of their organisational rights to participate in the process of the movement,” reads the letter.

The complainants claimed that the branch general meeting in question - which ended with Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma being nominated - included several procedural irregularities.

These included disputes over membership and members being kept out of the meeting.

Speaking to Echo on Tuesday, one of the aggrieved members, Mbongeni Skhakhane, said the party’s national leadership was this week handling disputes lodged by 50 branches in KwaZulu-Natal.

“We are still waiting for our matter to be addressed at this level,” Skhakhane said.

Branch chairperson Tom
Zuma referred Echo to the regional spokesperson, Siphamandla Khumalo, before stating that the branch leadership had not received any dispute from its members.

Khumalo said disputes were being handled at provincial level, adding that he was not aware of such a dispute.

Regional secretary, Mzi Zuma would not confirm whether he penned the letter dismissing the appeal.

He asked aggrieved party members to escalate any issues to structures within the party.

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