South Africa 28.4.2017 05:41 am

Mbinda, Moloto war threatening to tear PAC apart

PAC members. Picture:  (Photo by Gallo Images / Frank Trimbos)

PAC members. Picture: (Photo by Gallo Images / Frank Trimbos)

At stake is who should control the organisation’s meagre financial resources.

A power struggle between PAC president Luthando Mbinda and secretary-general Narius Moloto is threatening to divide the party and even to cause it to break up.

At stake is who should control the organisation’s meagre financial resources.

Mbinda is apparently demanding that the party treasurer must account to him for use of funds while Moloto insists it is his job as chief executive officer.

Their feud has already resulted in the former liberation organisation breaking into factions.

One group supports Moloto against Mbinda while another accuses Moloto of pursuing a personal vendetta against the president.

The enmity between the two leaders is so serious that they are not on speaking terms.

Their fight has spread to social media, where they have been exchanging strong words.

A national executive committee (NEC) source said Moloto was supported by the National Council of Trade Unions, of which he is the general secretary.

Some in the NEC and lower party structures are siding with Mbinda.

“Since the 2016 local government elections, Mbinda has not wanted to be managed by the office of the secretary-general.

“He makes policy statements that do not reflect the party policy but he refuses to account for them,” the source said.

Now, the party says Mbinda crossed the line when he organised a recent reburial programme for the exhumed remains of several former PAC activists using five people “unknown” to the party.

The remains were exhumed from Pretoria and reburied in the Eastern Cape.

“You can’t take such a decision like that outside of the party mandate. Because he is the president, he thinks he can do anything he likes. An organisation does not work that way,” Moloto said.

It is understood that the national disciplinary committee has been asked to consider charges of misconduct and putting the party into disrepute against Mbinda.

Some said he should be suspended or recalled from parliament, but they fear that might divide the party.

The PAC recently emerged from a bitter court battle with its former president, Letlapa Mphahlele, who apparently ruled by decree after suspending the party constitution.

Mphahlele lost the court battle when the new leadership, under Mbinda and Moloto, was declared legitimate by the court.

Infighting is not new to the PAC, which was beset by leadership divisions in exile.

Since its unbanning in 1990, it has lost prominent leaders including Patricia de Lille, Thami Ka Plaatjie and Themba Godi.

They all formed their own breakaway parties. When approached for comment, Moloto denied that he had a personal vendetta against Mbinda.

“Yes, there are problems in the party, but there is no cause for concern,” he said. Numerous attempts yesterday to get comment from Mbinda failed.

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