- Internal calls have been made for members of the ANC's highest decision-making body, the national executive committee, to resign.
- This was confirmed by ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula.
- Mbalula says these calls were made by a group of opportunists seeking to destabilise the party.
ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula confirmed on Thursday there were calls from within the party for members of its national executive committee (NEC) to resign following a dismal showing at the municipal elections and taxing coalition negotiations.
Mbalula was speaking at a media briefing at Luthuli House to discuss developments following the establishment of councils throughout the country.
"We know we did not reach our objectives but now there some opportunists even in the party who are rebels in the party who are basically calling for the head of the NEC, they see an opportunity to cause disunity."
He was quick to add the NEC had long accepted collective blame for the party's performance and what was needed, going forward, was for the ANC to take stock of what had happened and correct the mistakes that led to South Africans not voting for it.
[In Pictures] @MYANC media briefing on Local Government latest developments following the establishment of councils throughout the country will now be addressed by Head of Elections Comrade @MbalulaFikile, Head of Organising Cde @nomvulamokonyane and Spokesperson Cde @MabePule . pic.twitter.com/jiFEUlFZli— African National Congress (@MYANC) November 25, 2021
"Before accepting collective responsibility, which we do, we have to also acknowledge that the outcomes actually turned out better than they would have been.
"Had the party not intervene when it did and started its renewal projects, things would have been worse … we are evaluating what happened, where we lost, where there is coalitions and how many of our people did not come to the party and from which areas…
"Opposition parties failed to annihilate us at the weakest we have ever been, so we can only go up from here,” said Mbalula.
He added what was more disheartening was the fact that even in areas where the ANC did well, party members were now taking each other to court because of diluted candidate selection promises.
"Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, that's where the biggest loss came from. That's where the biggest loss and drop in voters came from and the Western Cape came to the rescue.
"Then there is Limpopo; that is where the ANC is governing with no problems. We don't have coalitions in Limpopo because we did well, but even now it's the ANC versus the ANC, with members taking each other to court," said Mbalula.
His media briefing comes after the ANC received a bloody nose after it was reduced to below 50% nationally for the first time since democratic municipal elections began.
Further rubbing salt onto the wound was that the party failed to secure coalitions with opposition parties and lost further ground when it lost control of all three metros in Gauteng.
In terms of coalition talks, Mbalula disputed allegations by the EFF that talks collapsed because the ANC had not been interested in talking about principles but was in a rush to discuss power sharing.
"It's untrue what [the EFF leader Julius] Malema said. We never got that far in our talks with them. We only had one meeting and when we were supposed to have the follow-up meeting, we heard that they were no longer willing to talk to the ANC.
"Maybe, they were never willing to engage and used the talks as a scapegoat to say that talks failed with the ANC and then went on to support the DA," he said.