About 400 ANC branch members from the Free State protested outside Luthuli House party headquarters yesterday, demanding that the organisation’s top brass should address the issue of unrepresentative interim provincial leaders appointed in the Free State.
The members from the five regions of the ANC in the province demanded to be addressed by the ANC officials on their demand the Free State provincial task team (PTT), which they believed was imposed on them by Luthuli House, be inclusive.
They accused secretary-general Ace Magashule of appointing members from the disbanded provincial executive committee into the new PTT.
The ANC national executive committee appointed Paseka Nompondo as convener and William Bulwane as coordinator of the PTT. These were opposed by members from a faction previously aligned to ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa.
They claimed both Nompondo and Bulwane were from the illegitimate provincial executive committee that was disbanded following a high court ruling that it was elected unconstitutionally and unlawfully.
In the same conference that was held in November, Magashule was elected as provincial chairperson while already nominated as secretary-general for the national conference.
Nompondo was deputy provincial chairperson and Bulwane was provincial secretary.
The branches, which travelled from Bloemfontein to Johannesburg by bus, were accompanied by a group of party activists who led the anti-PTT protest.
The 15 activists held discussions with ANC national organiser Senzo Mchunu and party general manager Febe Potgieter-Gqubule, who were mandated by the officials to meet them at the party headquarters.
Mchunu and Potgieter-Gqubule were nominated as part of a high-level team brought to Luthuli House to strengthen the party in the lead-up to the 2019 national elections.
Speaking on behalf of the activists, Ike Moroe confirmed they held a discussion with Mchunu and Potgieter-Gqubule.
“We held lengthy and satisfactory discussions. We made our representation, which we hope will be addressed and responded to within a reasonable time,” Moroe said.