Shock vote rigging move

2017-11-07 14:29
Naledi Pandor.

Naledi Pandor. (File)

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The ANC’s national leadership has snubbed the KwaZulu-Natal executive by sending in a task team to probe processes used to nominate candidates for the party presidency. There have been widespread allegations of vote-rigging at KZN party branch general meetings (BGMs) in recent weeks.

The delegation of ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) members is expected to descend on the province on Tuesday — and the KZN leadership had not been formally told by Monday afternoon.

“When did this happen — we were not informed about anything like that,” ANC provincial secretary Super Zuma said.

The arrival of the delegation follows claims by KZN supporters of presidential hopeful Cyril Ramaphosa that the Pro-Jacob Zuma Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) was manipulating processes in BGMs in favour of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. The move appears to indicate that President Zuma — who backs his former wife to succeed him — might be losing his grip on the party.

And it was Ramaphosa supporters who broke the news of the probe on Monday.

Last week statistics released by the PEC indicated most of the KZN branches that had completed their nomination processes endorsed Dlamini-Zuma.

The Ramaphosa faction, which claims that about 80 BGMs in the province were rigged, called a media briefing in Durban on Monday where it announced that Luthuli House had dispatched the task team. “I can confirm that a dispute resolution committee whose convener is Naledi Pandor, will be arriving either tomorrow [today] or Wednesday,” said Vukani Mdabe, the KwaZulu-Natal convener of the Ramaphosa camp.

According to PEC statistics, Dlamini-Zuma had by last week already registered wins in all the 57 BGMs in eThekwini that had concluded their nominations.

However, Ramaphosa camp spokesperson Sthembiso Mshengu said there was evidence of massive rigging across several regions.

“It must be noted though that in regions like eThekwini, Moses Mabhida and Harry Gwala, we have seen unprecedented acts of hooliganism and outright fraud in the branch general meetings where members with valid membership are removed from the roll of members.”

Pandor was this week named by Ramaphosa as the ANC presidential hopeful’s deputy president candidate.

Told about the developments, Super Zuma said the PEC will have to investigate the matter and give a comprehensive response at its media briefing scheduled for later this week.

ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa, confirmed that Luthuli House had set up the task team. “I can confirm that an NEC task team will be in KwaZulu-Natal to look at matters around processes in BGMs as well as any disputes that might have been raised,” he said.

However, Kodwa added that NEC teams were also being deployed to various other provinces across the country.

Ramaphosa supporters recently won a legal battle against the pro-Zuma PEC when the Pietermaritzburg high court found that the provincial ruling party leadership structure was elected at an illegitimate conference.

The PEC was able to remain in office after appealing the judgment.

Asked how Ramaphosa supporters instead of the PEC were the first ones to know about the NEC task team, Mshengu said Luthuli House was under no obligation to communicate with the PEC.

“There is no PEC in this province. The court had made it clear that those people were elected at an illegitimate conference — why should the NEC brief them before visiting,” he said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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