Eastern Cape feud heats up

2018-02-11 05:49

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The newly elected provincial executive committee (PEC) of the ANC in the Eastern Cape plans a major cabinet reshuffle – but those defeated at the September conference are planning court action and want the S’bu Ndebele-led appeal panel “to rule” in their favour.

But Ndebele, chairperson of the appeal panel that was set up to investigate the violent conference, told City Press this week that the panel’s mandate had not been about determining the legitimacy of the PEC elected at the East London Convention Centre in October last year.

He said panel members were given the task only of investigating the violence that took place at the conference to ensure it did not happen again. They were not expected to decide whether the Oscar Mabuyane-led PEC was legitimate.

“Ours is to investigate the circumstances and the violence. There was a national executive committee (NEC) that was overseeing the elections. We are not dealing with that. Ours is to ensure that things like that [violence] do not occur anywhere else.

“There is nothing to be anxious about because the PEC is there in place.

“The PEC was overseen by about 10 NEC people. Ours is not to say that was right or wrong. Ours is to investigate what led to the tension and how that can be prevented generally,” Ndebele said.

A number of ANC leaders in the province supported former chairperson Phumulo Masualle – one of the people who lodged the dispute within the ANC – and refused to participate in organisational programmes pending the findings of the Ndebele panel on the legitimacy and constitutionality of the conference.

Some senior provincial cabinet leaders participated for the first time in party activities at this week’s lekgotla, held in East London, since the watershed conference last year.

Ndebele said the NEC deployees at the conference, led by former party spokesperson Zizi Kodwa, oversaw the conference and declared the elected leadership legitimate.

Ndebele said the investigation had not been finalised and was ongoing.

The ANC’s Khusela Diko said the appeal panel still had to report to the NEC which had mandated it.

“It has not reported back to the NEC and I am sure it will be scheduled to [be discussed at] one of the upcoming NEC meetings.”

But one Eastern Cape leader, who spoke to City Press anonymously because he is not authorised to speak on the matter, said Ndebele’s report was ready and was in favour of those who lodged the dispute.

The leader said the fact that the newly elected PEC was already talking about reshuffling the cabinet proved that it was intent on purging those who contested at the conference.

Lulama Ngcukayithobi, provincial secretary of the ANC, said changes in the provincial cabinet would “definitely” happen.

“We are still consulting the national officials of the ANC and we will be able to make a pronouncement once those processes have been completed,” said Ngcukayithobi.

Meantime, five disgruntled members of the ANC have written to ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule to try to stop the reshuffle, asking him to “exercise your powers in terms of the constitution of the ANC and dissolve or suspend the current PEC”.

In the letter seen by City Press, the five ANC members from the Nelson Mandela Metro Region wrote to Magashule on February 3, through their lawyer Sindile Toni.

Read more on:    nec  |  anc

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