ANC North West peace process on the brink

2018-10-17 17:14
ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule is seen during a media briefing about his meeting with former president Jacob Zuma. (Alon Skuy, Gallo Images, Sunday Times, file)

ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule is seen during a media briefing about his meeting with former president Jacob Zuma. (Alon Skuy, Gallo Images, Sunday Times, file)

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The ANC's unity programme is failing to take hold in the North West as regions seek to challenge a decision to disband them by the recently established provincial task team.

Complaints have been laid with the ANC's secretary general Ace Magashule and his deputy Jessie Duarte. This as party members from the Dr RS Mompati and the Dr Kenneth Kaunda regions seek to challenge a decision to dissolve their regional executive committees (RECs).

READ: Mahumapelo quits ANC North West provincial task team

Duarte also heads up the ANC's national dispute resolution committee.

A letter that News24 has seen, written by the Dr RS Mompati regional secretary Gaolathle Kgabo, questions the motives behind the provincial task team's decision to dissolve the region's structures.

"We strongly believe that events leading [to] disbandment and the actions of the PTT (provincial task team) since its inception point towards a premeditated project to purge and to seize a moment to reward factionally aligned comrades who existed and were accepted as the so-called parallel REC," Kgabo wrote to Magashule.

News24 understands ANC national executive committee (NEC) member Malusi Gigaba and Obed Bapela, who is the province's deployee, communicated the decision to the affected regions on Monday.

READ: 'Disciplined' Supra to be 'integrated' into ANC's North West task team

Allegations of a purge

Only the Ngaka Modiri Molema region's executive remains standing but party members in the North West believe it is only a matter of time before it too, is disbanded.

Bojanala, which is the ANC's biggest region in the platinum-rich province, was placed under a task team in the lead-up to the ANC's watershed 2017 national conference.

The North West has had controversial political upheavals throughout the year that resulted in Supra Mahumapelo stepping down as premier following violent protests under the hashtag #SupraMustFall. His provincial executive committee was also disbanded, which meant he was no longer the ANC chairperson in the province.

Last week Mahumapelo, who has gone to ground following allegations that he was involved in a plot with former president Jacob Zuma to unseat President Cyril Ramaphosa last month, wrote a letter to Magashule rejecting his inclusion in the task team.

Mahumapelo also accused the team of seeking to purge members.

Kgabo, in his letter to Magashule, also claims the task team was attempting to "usurp" the powers of the ANC's regional bodies.

Members 'upset' over inconsistencies in messaging

"It was glaring that we were going to be disbanded regardless of whether we have done anything wrong or not," wrote Kgabo.

He said his region's party members felt "aggrieved" as they were not furnished with reasons behind the decision.

Another regional leader told News24 their region went to the ANC's headquarters at Luthuli House in Johannesburg on Tuesday to lodge a complaint with the party's dispute committee.

The party member said some were upset over inconsistencies in messages communicated by Bapela and Gigaba, claiming the former told party members the disbandment of the regional executives was an NEC decision, while the latter said it wasn't.

In audio of the meeting held with Gigaba in the Dr Kenneth Kaunda region, the NEC member can be heard saying the decision for a dissolution was made by the task team.

"I want to say to you comrades that the decision of the PTT is a decision which is political, we will not as the NEC deployees run away from telling the PTT that it is wrong where we feel it is wrong," said Gigaba, who also assured those in attendance that the ANC was on an upward trajectory.

'Always two sides to a story'

"We are not beholden to this PTT, we are [a] senior structure. Our duty is to help them and correct them where they make mistakes," said Gigaba.

"We will be able to rise up from here and work together to move forward," he added.

Duarte said she knew members from the North West had gone to Luthuli House but said she did not want to discuss party issues in the media.

"We have to do things in the ANC with some dignity and once it goes to the media it loses all dignity," said Duarte.

She also said there were always two sides to a story and felt it was unfair that some had taken their unhappiness to the media.

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Read more on:    anc  |  malusi ­gigaba  |  ace maga­shule

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