Disgruntled Free State ANC members reject new provincial task team

2018-01-24 17:43
Ace Magashule. (The Witness)

Ace Magashule. (The Witness)

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Johannesburg - Disgruntled Free State ANC members have rejected the newly established provincial task team (PTT) set up to lead the province to fresh elections, labelling it a "sea of secretary general Ace Magashule’s people".

The members are threatening to go to court if the ANC does not reverse its decision. News24 has seen a legal letter written to Luthuli House on Tuesday after Magashule said the provincial executive committee (PEC) was being suspended, instead of disbanded. 

"This conduct is irresponsible, unconstitutional and offends against the constitutional imperative of acting with integrity in all their dealings," the letter states.

READ: ANC resolves to dissolve KZN PEC

In the letter, the members demanded that party officials not meet with members of the defunct PEC. They claimed that some of the PEC members had committed fraud by attending the 54th ANC elective conference as branch delegates, despite not being elected by their branches. 

However, on Wednesday, the ANC returned members of the disbanded PEC, that was led by Magashule as chair of the province. 

This is despite a court setting aside the December provincial elective conference – ruling that it was unlawful.  

The PTT will be led by Magashule allies Paseka Nompondo - who has been appointed deputy provincial chair - and William Bulwane as coordinator. Nompondo was elected deputy chair at the December conference, while Bulwane retained his position as secretary. 

"We are not happy at all," said Monnapule Ntamo, who was one of the applicants who challenged the Parys conference. 

"These are the same people who were serving in the disbanded PEC, who defended an unlawful process to the conference. We were not consulted,"  Ntamo told News24. 


The only additions to the disbanded PEC are Thabo Manyoni and Mxolisi Dukwana, who are expected to contest the chairperson position. 

Ntamo said they would have preferred a 50/50 split, that included disgruntled members.

Another ANC member in the province, Shima Mohohlo, said they might head to court for "further interpretation" of the December court judgment. 

"The status quo remains and, therefore, it should be confronted politically, because they are the ones who put the province in a situation where it does not have political or organisational direction, and the branches are weak," Mohohlo said. 

"We can’t face the 2019 elections with this PTT leading the process," he said. 

The ANC's problem with Ace

It was astonishing to watch Free State Premier Ace Magashule extol the virtues of anti-corruption, renewal and unity at his first press conference as newly elected secretary-general of the ANC.

Ntamo said they wanted all the branch general meetings to be held again ahead of the congress, and not only the ones that the court ruled were unlawfully constituted.

Another regional leader, who did not want to be named, said the PTT spelled "anarchy" for the already deeply divided province. 

"The new PTT, instead of creating a conducive environment for unity to prevail, has created one for anarchy to prevail," he said. 

'We wanted fairness'

The ANC members said they would rather engage other ANC officials, as they believed that Magashule, despite being secretary general, was "conflicted" and desperate to "protect his reign". 

"We wanted fairness. The PTT will meet to choose a new premier, as Magashule will resign in March. They will choose the same person who will protect corruption in the province and protect Magashule’s interest," Ntamo said. 

Some of the disgruntled members questioned if the NEC had actually taken a decision on the composition of the NEC. 

"We don’t believe that the NEC took such a weak decision, so we intend to write to national leaders and go directly to them ahead of the National Working Committee meeting," Mohohlo said. 

ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said the ANC had to do everything in its power to resolve its issues politically, rather than in the courts. 

"This is not about replacing one faction with another, so in some instances we are going to force comrades to work with one another," Kodwa said.

"We understand it will take time, because these people have been fighting each other for a very long time. But this is being done in the interests of organisational renewal and unity," he said.

Read more on:    ace magashule  |  bloemfontein  |  poltics

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