‘We’ll break Msunduzi’ - ANC

2019-04-25 15:54
City Hallâ??s Clock tower keeps ticking. The Msunduzi municipality has managed to keep ahead of the problem the pigeons keep dropping. Photo. Jonathan Burton8BIM

City Hallâ??s Clock tower keeps ticking. The Msunduzi municipality has managed to keep ahead of the problem the pigeons keep dropping. Photo. Jonathan Burton8BIM (File)

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The ANC is facing a revolt within its own ranks as party members in Pietermaritzburg threaten to “shut down” Msunduzi and other municipalities if their demands are not met before the elections on May 8.

Disgruntled ANC members in the Moses Mabhida region, who are outraged by what they claim to be the sidelining of prominent party members during the compilation of election candidates list, have already put together a programme of action.

A letter by the rebels circulated among ANC members in the region, calls on ANC councillors in Msunduzi to resign en masse and then contest by-elections as independents should the ANC national leadership fail to review the candidates list.

Ructions in the Moses Mabhida region, the second biggest ANC region in the province after eThekwini, could have a negative impact on the party during the elections.

The ANC list shows that more than 50% of Moses Mabhida region members currently serving in either the KZN legislature or the National Assembly will not be returning to their positions.

Prominent ANC figures in the region who have been overlooked on the list include former ANC provincial secretary Sipho Gcabashe, former South African South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) president Ruth Bhengu, former ANC regional chairperson Alpha Shelembe and current Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs Barbara Thomson.

According to the rebels, only people who were part of the two main factions in the region, the Cyril Ramaphosa and Jacob Zuma groups, during the build-up to the ANC’s 2017 presidential elections, were included on the list. “It has become clear to our minds that our comrades have betrayed and neglected many of us. We therefore appeal to the national leadership to urgently come to address all these issues, as a matter of urgency, in actual fact before the elections.

“Failing which, a clear programme of action has already been developed under the theme ‘An injury to one is an injury to all’, let us therefore all unite and defend the revolution,” the circular, seen by The Witness, said.

All concerned ANC members in the region who also believed that the ANC was under serious attack from within, were urged to join the campaign.

An ANC branch chairperson sympathetic to the senior ANC members who have been excluded from the list, said most of those who did not make the cut had worked hard to unite the Zuma and Ramaphosa factions in the region.

“We are talking of tried and tested cadres here, who contributed a lot to the organisation and risked their lives during the apartheid period.

“When the Zuma and Ramaphosa factions were at each others’ throats and threatening to collapse the ANC in the region, it was these people who are now being sidelined who were calling people to order,” he said.

The campaign to include the “sidelined” leaders on the regional list is said to be supported by a significant number of ANC members across factions.

The disgruntled ANC members, who have also threatened to rope in the minibus taxi industry to their campaign, this week wrote to Ramaphosa and ANC deputy secretary-general, Jessie Duarte, requesting them to resolve problems in the region to avert an open revolt ahead of the polls.

Shelembe, who is currently an ANC MPL, said he was aware of the grievances contained in the circular.

“A few months ago I even met President Cyril Ramaphosa and briefed him about the unstable situation in the region. I also conveyed the same message to national executive committee (NEC) members,” he said.

ANC national media manager, Mhlabunzima Memela, said he would arrange for Duarte to comment on the matter.

THE DESTABILISATION THREATS INCLUDE:

Mobilising the taxi Industry;

Total shutdown of Pietermaritzburg;

Chasing away all foreign nationals from ‘our villages and towns’;

Blocking highways and burning trucks at toll gates;

Rallying workers to halt essential services;

Sit-ins at strategic points;

Organising councillors not to attend meetings, and to resign and contest elections as independents; and

Disrupting schools.

THE REBEL DEMANDS:

Two members who formed part of the ‘Unity’ slate be co-opted to the current Provincial Executive Committee of the ANC.

All Moses Mabhida region members who were excluded from the election list be reinstated.

An end to the ‘harassment’ of members in cabinet.

The reinstatement of the Moses Mabhida region’s inclusive task team.

The recall of the mayor and speaker of Msunduzi.

An end to the ‘institutionalised, well-orchestrated victimisation and political suppression of our Comrades’.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg
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