ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte has threatened the coordinator of the ANC interim provincial committee (IPC) in North West, Hlomani Chauke, with suspension if he continues to defy instructions from Luthuli House. It relates to the clean-up of the party’s candidate list process.
In view of this, Duarte wrote to Chauke on Monday saying:
But it seems Chauke would be punished twice for the same offence after Duarte, on the same day, wrote a separate letter to ANC national executive committee (NEC) deployees in North West, requesting them to “meet and conduct a thorough assessment of the suitability of [Chauke] to continue in his role as coordinator of the North West interim provincial committee”. The deployees were expected to make recommendations to Duarte.
There appears to be a risk of the ANC opening itself up to allegations of double jeopardy, in that Duarte issued Chauke with a warning letter – which is a disciplinary measure – and at the same time launched an investigation into his suitability to hold office, flowing from the same offence.
Chauke faced a complaint regarding a letter which he sent to ANC structures in the North West last Thursday, which has been described as a misrepresentation of a meeting the previous day with the electoral committee of the party, headed by former deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe.
In the letter, it was stated that the electoral committee resolved that there would be no rerun of the candidate selection process due to time constraints. The province had to comply with the national processes and submit its final candidates list last Saturday, Chauke had said.
“All outstanding disputes would be attended to after the 2021 local government elections,” he said. Subsequently, Motlanthe reported Chauke to the ANC top six for creating confusion in relation to the status of the candidate selection process in the province – which also had implications nationally, since many other provinces were also grappling with disputes relating to the process.
A recording of the head of the ANC NEC, Obed Bapela, surfaced online last week, in which he disagreed with the contents of Chauke’s letter during a meeting of the IPC with the NEC deployees to the province.
Bapela is heard saying that the electoral committee “never ever said that the processes are closed”. “What they said is in line with the NEC meeting. Where the people were removed from the list and yet they were nominated by the communities – if such has happened anywhere in any municipality – all provinces must then go and investigate,” he said.
“And if evidence points that the right candidate was removed, we need to do so, and reinstate that candidate. Where there are reruns to be done, we need to do those reruns”. He said: “The letter of the coordinator of the IPC is wrong and it does not represent the national list committee. That ought to be withdrawn with immediate effect,” and further explained that the ANC was a unitary organisation.
“We are not a federal organisation and we have never been. And if such a letter exists, I want this IPC today to reject that letter and withdraw it, so that the coordinator writes a letter in line with the NEC decision and the guidelines.”
He said processes were under way to “amend, to rectify ... whatever we have submitted where there are complaints”. At least 19 wards in the province were last week yet to hold community meetings to elect candidates.
Bapela said Motlanthe was pleading for the province to do the right thing, following a 30-minute discussion they had. “If North West is refusing to do so, he is recommending the disbandment of the IPC. Doing something like that is ... ill-discipline of the worst order, and any province that does so will face the same recommendation.”