ANC won’t be derailed by Skwatsha

The ANC’s top brass in the Western Cape today pledged to repair divisions that cost the party the province and said any challenge by ousted chairman Mcebisi Skwatsha was unlikely to derail the process.

“We are very confident of the procedures we followed,” said Trevor Manuel, the convenor of ruling party national executive committee (NEC) deployees in the province.

He said that at this point the notion of an appeal on Skwatsha’s part was but a rumour, and “I’ve learnt not to follow rumours”.

New provincial chairman Marius Fransman said the party “must move with speed to reaffirm the non-racial character, undertake a process of renewal of values, provide leadership and become servants to the people, and affirm our traditions of unity and collective leadership”.

“We have collectively resolved to do all that is necessary to rectify errors of our recent past by rebuilding the trust and confidence of our people in the ANC.”

Fransman, who is also deputy minister of international relations, declined to say whether he would run for mayor of Cape Town in the local government elections in early May.

Manuel said that nominating a mayoral candidate was a complex, elective process and that a choice could not be imposed on local structures.

Fransman was elected unopposed as new provincial chairman at the weekend, after Skwatsha withdrew when the floor voted to allow ANC Youth League delegates to vote at the conference.

The former chairman claims this was improper procedure as the youth league’s leadership structures had been disbanded in the Western Cape.

Deputy Transport Minister Jeremy Cronin defended the decision, saying the ruling party had made it only after consulting the constitution of the ANC’s NEC.

He conceded that the constitution was not clear on the matter, but said the interpretation was that they should be allowed to vote.

“It was a complicated conference. We are not in denial about that,” he said.

“If people want to pursue appeals, they must do so in a disciplined way.”

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