The ANC is 'leaderless' in Ekurhuleni, it needs a 'political solution' - Panyaza Lesufi

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Panyaza Lesufi.
Panyaza Lesufi.
  • Panyaza Lesufi is concerned the ANC Ekurhuleni conference debacle has not been resolved. 
  • The Ekurhuleni ANC has Mzwandile Masina elected as a provisional leader after some votes from the conference were set aside in May. 
  • The newly elected ANC Gauteng PEC will have to resolve the matter about the disputed conference and whether it will have to re-run.

ANC Gauteng chairperson Panyaza Lesufi is concerned the ANC in Ekurhuleni remains "leaderless" a month after the region held its highly contested and fractious conference. 

The ANC in Ekurhuleni held a regional conference in May, but because a handful of votes from the conference were set aside, Mzwandile Masina remains the provisionally elected leader. 

Lesufi's fears were so grave about the political squabbles of the party in the region that he warned the ANC may be unable to take up a leading position if the DA-led coalition government in Ekurhuleni could crumble. 

Gauteng education MEC said on Sunday: "We now think that we need a political solution. The technical part of it on which part is qualified and which is not, the reality is that we have been leaderless in Ekurhuleni for almost a month. If there is an opportunity in Ekurhuleni council to take up the municipality again, we can't because we are still dealing with this matter. I am convinced that a political solution will be found."

READ | We have no fear - Masina calls out Makhura over 'war zone' at ANC Gauteng congress

The margins between Masina and his rival, Doctor Xhakaza, were close and the 19 votes quarantined were believed to be significant to sway the race for either man.

Masina got 163 votes and Xhakaza 151.

The ANC Ekurhuleni matter was tasked to ANC national executive committee (NEC) member Jeff Radebe. 

His report, presented to the ANC NEC, found several accusations about disputed branches at the ANC Ekurhuleni conference. 

Those who raised concerns about manipulation pointed the finger at Masina and his ally Ekurhuleni regional secretary, Thembinkosi Nciza, who was recently elected ANC Gauteng provincial secretary. 

In a last-minute meeting ahead of the ANC Gauteng provincial conference in June, the ANC NEC threw the matter back to the province's soon-to-be-elected provincial executive committee. 

The Ekurhuleni matter dominated the entire Gauteng ANC conference as delegates spent hours debating the issue during credentials. 

The initial sitting of the conference in June failed to discuss policy matters and had to be postponed to 9 July. 

Even this weekend, the Ekurhuleni matter was top of the agenda for some delegates.

The same branches that impacted the Ekurhuleni regional conference had their votes set aside at the provincial conference.

Those supporting the Ekurhuleni matter insisted that the election of provincial executive committee members could not go ahead because the quarantined votes had to be opened. 

A steering committee meeting was held late on Saturday night involving ANC national NEC members, and ANC Gauteng officials decided not to open the votes. 

READ | Special ANC NEC meeting: Gauteng conference greenlit, new PEC to deal with Ekurhuleni issues

There remains a belief among ANC members that the votes could sway the elections of the ANC Gauteng provincial officials. 

That was one of several reasons presented for the votes to be opened ahead of the election of PEC members. 

Lesufi said the conference resolved and accepted that the votes had no bearing on the provincial conference. 

"The ANC is a transparent organisation. It would have been a miscarriage of justice if the matters brought by delegates were not entertained. We decided that let's separate the matters of Ekurhuleni from the provincial conference. The ANC NEC will help us finalise matters related to the Ekurhuleni conference," Lesufi said on Sunday. 

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