On your marks...

2017-08-27 05:58
Gwede Mantashe (Netwerk24)

Gwede Mantashe (Netwerk24)

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On Sunday July a branch meeting of the ANC’s Ward 16 in Matlosana, Klerksdorp, collapsed because it could not reach a quorum.

However the branch members woke up the next day to news that a new branch executive had been “fraudulently” installed.

What’s more, they say, it was headed by a Zimbabwean national.

In a video recording, expected to be submitted to ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe as supporting evidence, a senior leader is seen refusing to destroy the register for the failed meeting despite some members warning that failure to do so could lead to a manipulation of the electoral process.

This dispute is just one of many that have been flooding Mantashe’s office since May when the branch auditing process began.

This process, in preparation for the party’s elective conference scheduled for December, is always characterised by big and petty disputes and is the busiest time in the term of the secretary-general.

In just over two weeks, the next phase of the succession race will see branches convene general meetings and bi-annual general meetings to discuss leadership nominations, policy recommendations from the recent national policy conference, and elect at least two delegates – one female and one male – to represent them at the national conference.

It has become customary for branch numbers to swell in the run-up to conference and for bags of cash to change hands as different factions use every means possible to bolster their strength.

Because of fears that bogus delegates could be used to steal the national conference, ordinary ANC members have taken to using mobile phones to record proceedings at branch meetings in order to collect evidence in the event of a dispute.

It is expected that many more cases involving such recordings as evidence where ANC processes have failed to provide a resolution could be presented before South Africa’s courts – as in the North West where disgruntled party members have interdicted a regional conference and a provincial general council which had been scheduled for last weekend.

During the last week of October, provincial ANC leaders are expected to consolidate policy recommendations from regional and provincial general councils.

However, a consolidation of leadership nominations could for the first time be excluded from this process, as branch nominations could be sent directly to Luthuli House.

The proposed change is a resolution of the ANC national general council in 2015, which seeks to ensure that branches “vote according to their branch mandate at the elective conferences and consolidation of preferences at regional and provincial level should be outlawed”.

At the beginning of November Mantashe should be ready to consolidate both the leadership nominations and policy recommendations and commence with preparations for the commission reports.

Three weeks later the ANC will open the preregistration of delegates expected to attend the 54th national conference from December 17 to 21.


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Read more on:    anc  |  gwede mantashe

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