North West ANC regions fight back: 'We are battling an arrogant ANC leadership'

2019-06-28 11:09
ANC insignia (Gallo Images/Vathiswa Ruselo)

ANC insignia (Gallo Images/Vathiswa Ruselo)

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Two ANC regions in the North West have renewed their fight to gain back control of their respective regions, just a few months after the party's provincial executive committee (PEC) was expected to work towards a political solution, as suggested by the national executive committee (NEC).

The North West ANC's provincial leadership was dissolved in August 2018 by the ANC's NEC, which is the party's highest decision-making body between conferences. It also recommended a task team help restore calm in the volatile region and prepare it for the national elections, which took place in May.

The decision to wage a fightback comes on the heels of former ANC North West chairperson Supra Mahumapelo being appointed committee chairperson of tourism in Parliament.

The regional executive committees (RECs) of Dr Kenneth Kaunda (KK) and Dr Ruth Segomotsi Momphati (RSM) claim they were disbanded unlawfully in October 2018. The RSM region has threatened to go back to the courts, in order to force the ANC to reinstate its executive committee.

Threat to return to court

The provincial task team (PTT) disbanded the two out of four regions, saying parallel structures, which had been fuelled by factionalism, had been established in those areas.

The Ngaka Modiri Molema (NMM) region was left untouched, while the fourth region, Bojanala, was already under a regional task team following a separate court ruling in 2017. This court ruling barred numerous party members in that region from participating in the watershed ANC elective conference in December 2017.

In a media statement released after its meeting on Monday, the KK REC complained of structures in the province being "severely" and "negatively" affected by the disbandment of the provincial executive committee.

Its regional secretary, Lopang Rothman, who questioned why the NMM region was left untouched, told News24 he believed the two affected regions were products of ANC factional battles.

"The decline in voter support for the ANC is a national working phenomenon, therefore any narrative that seeks to single out North West as if it's the only troubled and affected province must be rejected."

Rothman, in defending his view, told News24 that there was an agenda in the ANC, aimed at those who did not support ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa, in the lead-up to the 2017 elective conference in Nasrec.

The North West, which was led by Mahumapelo both as a provincial chair and as its premier, is largely believed to be part of the faction which supported former president Jacob Zuma and his "preferred" successor, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, in the run-up to the elective conference.

He added that since then, the province was still being targeted, despite performing well during the national and provincial elections in May.

"With Gauteng's performance, where it got 51% and we got 60%, people would want to focus on this province purely because it was led by Supra Mahumapelo," remarked Rothman.



He denied their recent decision to revisit their concerns had anything to do with Mahumapelo, who is now a Member of Parliament.

Both Rothman and Gaolathle Kgabo penned a letter to the party's secretary general Ace Magashule about their complaints. In the letter, Kgabo refers to himself as the "unlawfully disbanded regional secretary of RS Mompati".

Both regions argued that the former PEC had recognised them as legitimate and that since the courts ruled in favour of Aaron Motswana and four others, including Mahumapelo in their bid to challenge their disbandment, it meant the RECs' dissolution was unlawful.

The five applicants won two court challenges, the first to have the NEC decision set aside and the second an execution order forcing the ANC to allow Mahumapelo and his PEC to return to work. This was halted when the ANC requested meetings to seek political solutions.

ALSO READ: Court rules Supra Mahumapelo must occupy office immediately

The political solution saw Mahumapelo removed from his chairmanship, and another structure being established which required the existing PEC and PTT to lead the province together.

"Unfortunately, we are dealing with a very arrogant ANC leadership," said Kgabo about their attempts to have their concerns heard.

He said the ANC had failed to respond to all their correspondence, which they had initiated in May.

"It's really unfortunate, we have no option but to turn to an institution which deals with all disputes in society," said Kgabo, referring to the court route.

Kgabo again criticised the ANC leadership for displaying "high arrogance", accusing the party of not being ready to respond to the court outcomes.

The national ANC was unavailable for comment, despite repeated attempts to contacted them.

Read more on:    anc  |  supra mahumapelo  |  mahikeng  |  politics  |  courts

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