It cannot be right that every time the ANC goes to an elective conference, it sheds a piece of itself, former president Kgalema Motlanthe once remarked shortly after the party’s national conference in 2012.
What bothered Motlanthe was the emergence of a trend that had begun in the months that followed the 2007 Polokwane conference when senior members led a walkout that gave birth to the Congress of the People. In 2013, this was followed by expelled ANC Youth League leadership forming the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and taking a good portion of the ANC’s membership and support base with them.
In addition, those on the losing side were purged or sidelined, even if they remained ANC members. This rendered them as good as nonexistent in the party.