Rustenburg mayor Mpho Khunou has spoken out against the group in the ANC demanding an urgent national general council (NGC) with the intention to review the performance of the ANC leadership, saying President Cyril Ramaphosa must be afforded the same respect that was given to his predecessors whether people like him or not.
Speaking to branch members of the ANC in Ward 10 in Madibeng Local Municipality in Brits in the North West on Saturday, Khunou said former president Jacob Zuma – whose radical economic transformation supporters are behind the drive to use the NGC to unseat Ramaphosa – “was allowed to lead for a full 10 years without any disturbance”.
“We are saying that Ramaphosa is in his first term. We are still going to a national elective conference in 2022 where branches of the ANC will determine the outcome of leadership elections,” he said.
“For now Ramaphosa, whether you voted for him or not, he remains the president of the ANC and he must be afforded the same respect just like we did with Zuma, Thabo Mbeki and Nelson Mandela,” he said to applause from the attending crowd.
Khunou had been earmarked as a possible candidate to become the secretary of the ANC in the North West, which is currently placed under the administration by Luthuli House through an interim provincial committee.
His #MK20 campaign had gained some momentum, particularly on social media and branches in the Rustenburg area, before the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic disrupted plans to hold the provincial elective conference sometime around April.
Khunou told the ANC branch members that until there is an elected provincial executive committee of the ANC in the North West, the IPC led by coordinator Hlomani Chauke and convener Susan Dantjie must be supported and their decisions respected.
He added that both Chauke and Dantjie hailed from ANC structures in Rustenburg’s Bojanala region, which included Madibeng. Earlier in August opponents of Chauke in the province had called for his head, claiming that he must go back to his birthplace in Giyani in Limpopo – a campaign which Khunou then condemned as tribalism.
The ANC in Bojanala region was also placed under an interim leadership pending a regional elective conference to choose new leaders.
Khunou said “those who demand an urgent NGC to remove Ramaphosa, also want the IPC to be unseated”.
“This cannot be an ANC that people only accept only when they are in leadership and when you are not in leadership there is a problem. We must support the IPC and the interim regional leadership in Bojanala so that we are able to rebuild the structure of the ANC,” he said.
He warned that if the ANC in Madibeng continued with divisions and infighting, it would lose control of the municipality “just like it happened in Rustenburg where we are governing through a coalition because of the infighting”.
“Here in Madibeng, if the infighting continues, the opposition DA and EFF could easily take over in the municipal elections next year in 2021. That is what we mean when we say the ANC in Madibeng must unite, otherwise there will be trouble.”
Khunou cautioned that there were ANC members who met in the dark plotting to remove Madibeng mayor Jostine Mothibe, working together with the opposition parties.
“We appeal to them to stop secret meetings because they will not serve the interests of the ANC or the people of Madibeng. We must therefore respect the IPC and the IRC and work together to build branches so that we could go to elective conferences and elect new leaders.”
Khunou said that only unity would see the ANC win the local government elections in Madibeng next year, adding that the “bloodsuckers” in the party who were working against that goal should be defeated.