Rifts a potential crisis for ANC - analysts

2012-08-13 17:40

Johannesburg - Deepening rifts between ANC members in provincial regions could create a crisis for the ruling party, political analysts said on Monday.

Signs of internal tension were becoming more and more obvious, they said.

Rhodes University visiting professor of politics Steven Friedman cited the adjournment of the OR Tambo regional conference in the Eastern Cape last week, and the disbanding of the Ngaka Modiri Molema region in the North West.

"I think that this is something very serious. It is a potential crisis for the ANC."

Witwatersrand University analyst Susan Booysen said issues surrounding the leadership of branches and regions, were at "the heart of the battle of Mangaung" - where the party would hold its elective conference in December.

‘Innocence lost’

She said the party's last elective conference, held in Polokwane in 2007, changed the way the ANC thought about its leadership.

"Polokwane has made the branches wiser, and in a way it [the ANC] lost its innocence.

"Since then we have more members lobbying for leaders. The majority of members who vote comprise of the branches, regions, and provinces."

Friedman agreed.

"We know that there is a power struggle, and that there are different factions," he said.
The recent controversy around the OR Tambo region's elections showed tension in the party was "simmering".

‘Free and fair elections’

Similar situations could affect the African National Congress's Mangaung conference.

Friedman said the ANC's national executive committee (NEC) had to rectify the situation in OR Tambo.

"The NEC needs to get involved, but not like how they are at the moment. It can't be like the intervention in Limpopo," he said.

"There needs to be free and fair elections [in the region], and they need to abide by the results. If that does not happen this could grow into a possible trend in the ANC."

He said disbanding the region's leadership, or putting provincial or national executive members in charge, was not the answer.

"It is like saying Parliament isn't working, so let go ahead without Parliament. The situation can't be left alone, it needs to be fixed."

Booysen said with the audit of the ANC's membership, and the announcement of nominations, the party could face further upheaval.

"I'm afraid that there will be a huge disruption if things don't go in a particular way. The lead-up to Mangaung will see major battles."

‘A major battle’

She said members who opposed President Jacob Zuma' re-election as party leader no longer trusted the ANC's leadership.

"The opposition does not trust [the ANC's headquarters] Luthuli House anymore. We know that [ANC secretary general] Gwede Mantashe is in the Zuma camp, so how do we know if they [the leadership] are acting fairly or unfairly?

"There is no neutral territory or clear-cut intervention. This is a major battle in the ANC, and we ain't seen nothing yet."

The party's top six officials - Zuma, deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe, Mantashe, deputy secretary general Thandi Modise, chairperson Baleka Mbete, and treasurer general Matthews Phosa - were reportedly having a meeting on Monday morning, where the OR Tambo conference was one of the topics up for discussion.

The Eastern Cape PEC took control of the region last week after its conference was adjourned without any newly-elected leaders. The event was dogged by allegations of inflated membership figures and "ghost" delegates.


Provincial secretary Mlibo Qoboshiyane said at the time that the electoral commission at the conference discovered that votes were cast by 591 delegates, instead of the 587 adopted by plenary.

The region is the largest in the Eastern Cape, and the second-largest ANC region in the country after eThekwini in KwaZulu-Natal - Zuma's home province.

Party members opposed to the North West's leadership protested at the ANC's headquarters in Mahikeng in May.

The action followed a decision to disband the party's Ngaka Modiri Molema regional leadership, which allegedly shared the ANC Youth League's view that Zuma needed to be replaced in Mangaung.

The disbandment was reportedly seen as an attempt to give Zuma's chances for re-election as ANC president a boost.

  • kim.buren - 2012-08-13 17:48

    The ANC is a crisis all on it's own

  • nicolas.gombert.16 - 2012-08-13 17:55

    United we stand, divided we fall! This is good news for South Africa, I trust that the silent moderates will bring the loony left to heel. More and more staunch ANC members are becoming disillusioned by the levels of incompetence and corruption. They have a choice: use their ANC membership vote to get rid of those opportunistic elements or leave the ANC and join another party. Either one is good for South Africa.

      godfrey.welman - 2012-08-13 18:50

      As the lady said "This is a major battle in the ANC, and we ain't seen nothing yet." roll-on October....SARS investigations, media leaks etc,etc

  • wendy.schneider3 - 2012-08-13 17:58

    like dogs fighting over a bone

      greg.quinn.353 - 2012-08-14 07:59

      don't forget the gravy

  • Erna - 2012-08-13 18:07

    With all this infighting who's doing the work? Not that anyone would notice the difference I guess.

  • Phelamanga - 2012-08-13 18:48

    The centre cannot hold! There are two outcomes of this: one, a Zuma dictatorship in which he declares himself the only candidate at Mangaung - judging from his fortified Nkandla homestead, he has this in mind, or, two,a complete dissolution of the ANC/SACP/Cosatu alliance and the formation of a SACP/COSATU political party in opposition to the ANC, and an ANC which returns to its core values without the spectre of communism dictating its policies. The first one is frightening, the second one welcoming. Of course, the third option would be even better with an ANC as part of the colonial/apartheid history of SA and new political parties that develop out of the new democratic dispensation contesting the elections. The DA is one of those as it became what it is today after 1994, but has a long liberation legacy going back to the 1800s and beyond.

  • themba.thwala.98 - 2012-08-13 18:49

    It's a bit of a challenge for the opposition parties to take on the mighty and therefore arrogant ANC. Let it implode on its own soon enough before they cause the entire country to be another Zimbabwe. I for one am rubbing my hands with glee

  • joyce.kweyama - 2012-08-13 18:54


      greg.quinn.353 - 2012-08-14 08:00


  • christiaan.oosthuizen.568 - 2012-08-13 19:31

    come on Zuma and Malerma are the best players on the DA team We need them another 4 years

  • mantsho.tlali - 2012-08-13 19:37

    Thing is that if Zuma is elected for the second term, he will not finish it, secondly ANC is going to loose more votes, Young people need jobs,no one is going to help them except themselves.l hope they know this.

  • sharon.erwin.96 - 2012-08-13 19:43

    Hmmm, reminds me of the snake that consumed itself. Here's hoping...

  • julio.sanfona - 2012-08-13 19:43

    And all this infighting is for the good of the nation right? A fish rots from the head.

  • lotus.river.5 - 2012-08-13 19:48

    Come december I'm gonna get me some pop corn and a purple slushie!this is proving to be quite a spectacular show. I dare someone to be the first to throw a chair!!

  • sean.mkhize.1 - 2012-08-13 20:12

    Just last year some of these useless analysts were saying that the whole of 2012 will be a showdown in the ANC. They said it will be a blood on the floor. We are in August now and they've been proven wrong and worthless again. They said 2012 will be worse then 2007. Unfortunately these are not even comparable. The worse thing is that these analyst are not accountable for anything and don't have any pride. They are as worthless as the journalists. But I forgive journalists becuase most of them are uneducated so we don't get surprised when we read nonsense from them.

      lotus.river.5 - 2012-08-14 06:26

      Err,sean should I be welcoming you back from mars or something?or do you want to read the orbituaries of the dead politicians in kzn?or the violent fights between the ancyl branches?or the apeals within appeals of the julius malema saga?or do you want the jz himself to be assasinated to see the writing on the wall?

  • douglas.reid.921 - 2012-08-13 21:13

    ANC = aristocrats never care. The black elite will just play this out to get as much out of it for themselves. To hell with the poor voters, just spin them a promise and as always they will be taken in.

  • Vince.York - 2012-08-13 21:38

    The average South African is very astute and has tired from following populists lying fools. Most of the easy cash handouts has dried up, and so the corrupt carrot can now only be extended as far as 'certain preferential' connected and not to the majority as has always been promised. The little gang of ANC are now exposed for the little self serving gang that they always have been, and the propaganda and rhetoric has worn thinner than the non existent easy cash. It's as simple as that.

      johnny.wood.509 - 2012-08-14 08:43

      Sadly no matter what happens within ANC structures come elections SA voters still and for a long time vote on race. White sheep will vote DA and black sheep (majority of SA will vote ANC. Black racism is as entrenched if not more entrenched than white racism, only it is 'justified' because of our history.Untill we can get over this racial distrust any political system and charade of elections is a huge waste of resources (and fantastic meal ticket for greedy politicians ).

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