ANC North West interim structure to discuss failed attempt to recall mayors, speakers

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Vathiswa Ruselo,Gallo Images/Sowetan
  • The North West ANC's interim provincial working committee will meet on Friday over recalled mayors, speakers and whips. 
  • It's understood only around six out of 15 officials told to step down, had resigned. 
  • The interim provincial committee also dismissed claims that it's purging municipal leaders linked to former premier Supra Mahumapelo. 

The North West ANC's interim provincial committee (IPC) is set to meet on Friday, following days of attempting to remove 15 officials across five municipalities in the province.

The IPC had given five troikas, which are made up of the mayors, speakers and chief whips, a Wednesday deadline to vacate their offices.

However, the majority of those affected refused, with some calling the structure unconstitutional and attempting to use those municipalities for factional battles in the party.

News24 understands that at least six had submitted resignations, but IPC spokesperson Kenny Morolong refused to confirm the number, saying the provincial working committee would collate and put together a report on how the week unfolded.

"The resistance by some of our deployees to resign is indicative of an embedded culture of ill-discipline in the province," Morolong told News24 on Thursday.

The ANC was currently attempting to clean up its image on the back of growing outcries about leaders being involved in corruption and had since called on leaders facing corruption or any other serious charges to "step aside".

However, this failed to yield the desired results, with leaders such as former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede and Bongani Bongo refusing to budge.

READ | North West ANC Women’s League defies clean-up

Eleven municipalities were meant to be affected by the IPC's recall, but the ANC's national executive committee (NEC) officials decided it shouldn't be such a drastic move.

"When we met the NEC officials, we told them of our decision and they said we must have a phased approach, so we are able to manage these interventions,” Morolong told News24.

Municipalities affected included Mahikeng, Ditsobotla, Maquassi Hills, Matlosana and Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati.

The province had been plagued by poor service delivery and instability, which also resulted in the removal of former premier Supra Mahumapelo in 2018.

However, that decision had not brought about the envisioned changes, with Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu's recent report finding irregular expenditure in the province's municipalities amounted to R5.4 billion.

Warring factions

Attempts to also bring warring ANC factions together proved unsuccessful.

On Thursday, ANC regional secretary in the Ruth Mompati region, Gaolatlhe Kgabo, held a media briefing, questioning the decision by the IPC and why all the troikas were being dealt with in one go.

He also questioned why individuals were not held responsible for wrongdoing on their part.

"There is no ANC that has ever punished anyone historically and even in recent times, on common purpose misconduct or wrongdoing, where the crime of one person becomes the crime of another by political association," said the regional secretary.

Kgabo, often been seen as a Mahumapelo ally, made a series of allegations against the ANC's NEC and the IPC, accusing the party's highest decision-making body of throwing the likes of jailed former Nelson Mandela Bay MMC Andile Lungisa "to the wolves".

He also said branches in his region were shocked by the decision taken by the IPC.

"As branches, we also know and believe that authority in the ANC is not exercised vindictively, factionally, arbitrarily or spitefully," said Kgabo.

He said the removals were to ensure a faction linked to the IPC was in charge of municipalities in order to dispense patronage, when the long awaited and much anticipated provincial conference eventually convened.

"We will not bow down and glorify its factional inclination to decision making," he said.

But Morolong dismissed the claims. "The problem with those who seek to problematise the decisions of the IPC is their propensity to individualise them," said Morolong.

He said no decision was taken by individuals, but was, instead, the view of a collective IPC.

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