The contrasting number of nominations that ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe and his contenders received for the top position of treasurer-general compared to the number of nominations they got for serving as additional national executive committee (NEC) members have led Mabe to believe that anybody could be elected to any position in the party’s top structures.
Mabe, who has been nominated for the treasurer-general position, received the second-highest numbers behind presidential adviser Bejani Chauke, but is well ahead in the additional NEC list, which was announced last week.
The two have been nominated alongside former Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina to contest for the position of treasurer-general at the national conference billed for Nasrec, Johannesburg, in two weeks.
Though the number separating Chauke and Mabe in the treasurer-general position is over 120, the gap separating them in the additional lists is over 700.
Chauke was nominated by 552 branches, while Mabe received 428 nominations, with Masina getting 348 nominations in the treasurer-general spot.
In the additional list, Mabe appears at number 14 after being nominated by 888 branches, while Masina came at number 61 with 461 nominations. Chauke is at number 152 with 159 nominations.
Mabe said reading too much into the numbers could be misleading.
He added the contrast told a story of how branches and delegates saw things in determining the positions of deployment. adding he didn't want to put the cart before the horse and proclaim that he would win because it's the branches that had the power to decide.
“They have been nominated by others. I don't think they should be contesting me, the people I'm really pushing back against are not them but those who endorsed them. I must respect the wishes of every member of the ANC, including those who did not nominate me in their branches,” he said.
He explained democrats must have the ability to accept things that don't necessarily affect them.
“That’s why I would not shun anybody’s intention to stand for election.”
He believes that the contestation of positions is part of strengthening democratic processes and not creating enemies.
“Ultimately, when you are elected to the structures of the ANC, you become part of the collective and you take decisions together. You must always hold hands and lead together.
“At the end of the conference, we must be able to embrace each other, even if I emerged as a treasurer-general or not, I will still be a member of the ANC because I joined the ANC to be a part of an organisation that wants to liberate the people of this country.”
He viewed his nomination to the position as an honour, saying being a treasurer-general of the ANC was not a glamorous position but the face of the bank of the organisation.
“When a president of the ANC drives into a township, into a village, there is ululation, there are blue lights and everything. But if a treasurer comes in, you might not even know that the treasurer was here. It would take a few who recognise the face of that person because it's not the position of glamour. So, if I was a lover of glamour, of recognition, I would have fought to go to government,” he said.
He credited his branch, ward 96 Savannah city, Johannesburg, for requesting him to stand when nominated to the position of treasurer-general.
“I duly accepted the suggestion by my branch and said even if it was just them, I was just humbled by the fact that they saw it fitting that having served in the NEC of the ANC for a while now, they could now release me to perform and occupy an office in the party. That for me was humbling enough,” he said.
His laid-back approach to nominations and contestations is credited to the lessons he learnt while he was still the treasurer of the ANC Youth League in 2012 when their differences saw him being suspended from the league.
“Our differences almost put me in cahoots with my colleagues in the national executive to the point where I was even suspended as the treasurer-general of the Youth League, a move I did not accept because I thought that it was not based on politics at the time. It was very much driven by our own internal differences,” he said.
Mabe said after the suspension, he found solace in his branch.
“I took to the streets through my branch. They gave me a role to be an organiser of the branch and I worked in the branch without expecting anything back.”
He says he takes any deployment seriously and never asks for a reason for being deployed. Mabe believes that anybody who is asked to serve doesn't ask why because it is not in the spirit of servanthood.
“Our revolution is that those who are elected or bestowed with the responsibility of serving have to understand that the great price of serving people comes out of them, taking those that they served seriously and putting them first.”