Magashule lashes out at 'third force' as court rules ANC Limpopo conference must continue

2018-06-24 06:02
Ace Magashule. Picture: Elizabeth Sejake

Ace Magashule. Picture: Elizabeth Sejake

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ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has lashed out at a “third force” which he claims is sponsoring instability in the party, as it battles to rein in “selfish” members who insist on taking the party to court.

Addressing the ANC Limpopo provincial conference on Saturday, he called for the ANC to charge those who took the organisation to court. This was while the High Court in Johannesburg was hearing an application to interdict the event. The application was dismissed with costs, allowing the conference to continue.

A growing culture of rushing to the courts had frustrated the party’s activities as it battled to contain the fallout from last year’s national elective conference.

The ANC and its leadership are currently respondents in court challenges in four of the provinces: KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, Eastern Cape and Limpopo. In Gauteng, members of the West Rand region had threatened to take the party to court, but had yet to make good on this.

“When you are 500 or 1 500 delegates and three, four or five people take the ANC to court, what do they think? Who are they? Are they still part of us?” Magashule shouted. Delegates shouted “no” in response.

“Which agenda are they serving? Do they want to reverse the gains of our revolution because of their selfish interests? Who is funding them, who is this funder of people who are unemployed? People who have no money, who don’t even have R100 in their bank account.”

The applicants in yesterday’s court challenge were represented by senior advocates Tembeka Ngcukaitobi and Dali Mpofu.

Magashule said ANC members should refuse to be held to ransom by a select few and should act against the rebels who took the party to court, instead of subjecting themselves to internal processes.

The party had, since its national elective conference at Nasrec, battled to reconcile warring factions divided between those who supported Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and those who backed the eventual winner, President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa had tentatively held on to his position, as he stands accused of presiding over an ANC faction.

Magashule said: “It is the task of those who are elected to ensure that they embrace those who did not support them, because leaders must show that they are leaders of the entire membership.”

Despite what he called “difficulties” in the ANC, Magashule said the party was marching on united.

However, Eastern Cape members who took the party to court this week told City Press that the leadership’s inability to resolve their problems means they had to resort to using the courts.

Ramaphosa had been blamed for the ANC’s legal woes in the Eastern Cape. Some of its members there said he abandoned his responsibilities as ANC president, opting instead to lead a Nasrec faction.

“The guy who is at fault here is a guy called Cyril,” said Mawande Ndakisa. He is one of the applicants wanting to have the outcome of the provincial elective conference, held in October last year, declared invalid.

He said that of all ANC national executive committee (NEC) members, only Ramaphosa’s role was clearly defined by the party’s constitution.

“The constitution says that the president of the ANC gives direction to activities of the movement.

“The NEC must ask itself, what must it do about itself when it failed to resolve internal issues? It must first pose that question before it goes around threatening us when it failed to lead us.

“People resort to courts because the NEC has rendered itself useless on these issues.”

Ndakisa said that he and others involved in the bid to force the NEC to implement the Sbu Ndebele report were willing to bide their time.

The report contains the recommendation that the Eastern Cape’s provincial executive be dissolved and new elections held.

“If the NEC does not want to lead us, we will retreat and wait for the time that Cyril is no longer a darling of the courts.

“Courts are not going to love him forever, he is human; so somewhere along the line he will fail the people who love him.

“There are issues now which will be brought to court in two years and things will be very different. People are going to lie low now and then go to courts and what will then happen to him? Everything will be reversed,” Ndakisa said.

Limpopo ANC chairperson Stan Mathabatha was returned to his position unopposed yesterday.

Groups in the province aligned to both Ramaphosa and Dlamini-Zuma apparently reached an agreement to secure him another term in office.

It’s believed Mathabatha’s second political life was a reward for his support of Ramaphosa ahead of Nasrec, when it was unpopular to do so.

Current Limpopo ANC secretary Knox Seabi was likely to be ousted in favour of former secretary Soviet Lekganyane, who featured on the dominant Mathabatha slate, which had current treasurer and ally Danny Msiza listed for the same position.

The real tussle, however, was expected to play itself out between Mopani regional secretary Bioscope Makamu and health MEC Poppy Ramathuba for the position of deputy secretary.

The conference had been characterised by a push to accommodate all tribal groups in the province. This was a talking point before the conference and formed part of Mathabatha’s political report, delivered in the early hours of Saturday morning.

In his report, Mathabatha acknowledged that the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) posed a serious threat to the ANC in the province ahead of next year’s crucial elections.

“The most worrying phenomenon is the fact that for the first time since the dawn of democracy, the ANC in Limpopo lost control of two municipalities to the EFF and the DA coalition.”

The incoming provincial executive committee had to ensure the ANC reclaimed the lost space, he said.

Mathabatha warned members to stop squabbling and corrupt tendencies, otherwise the ANC would lose power.

Read more on:    anc  |  ace maga­shule  |  polokwane  |  politics

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