Disputed ANC branch general meetings to be rerun

ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe briefs the media on the outcomes of the special National executive Committee meeting at Luthuli House, 14 November 2017. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

Despite the disputes at provinces and branches, the ANC believes that it would hold a successful national conference.

The African National Congress (ANC) on Monday announced its national executive committee (NEC) had resolved that all disputed branch general meetings be rerun as the party’s much-awaited elective conference draws nearer.

Secretary-general Gwede Mantashe added the party’s top brass might hold a special NEC meeting on the eve of the conference to “tie up loose ends”.

“There were processes. Vetting was given and the branches have until Saturday to reconvene meetings,” Mantashe told reporters in Johannesburg after an NEC meeting held over the weekend.

The party’s upcoming 54th national conference has been marred by court challenges and allegations of branch membership manipulation. Provincial leadership in provinces including the Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape faced court challenges by disgruntled ANC members.

The latest court challenge is from presidential hopeful Matthews Phosa, who reportedly wants the Mpumalanga executive committee dissolved over branch nomination disputes.

Phosa is also not happy with Mpumalanga’s unity ticket ahead of the conference, which saw the provincial general council (PGC) opting not to choose a preferred leader on Friday.

Mantashe said Phosa’s court action can only serve “instant satisfaction” for him.

”A PGC is not an election, it is a structure that nominates candidates … not unless comrade Phosa says those nominations written ‘unity’ be changed into ‘Matthew Phosa’. Unless, again, if he wants the court to put his name on those ballot boxes, all we can say is just wish him good … because once nominations are completed, there will be elections,” he said.

He added that there was no candidate called ”unity”.

Despite the disputes at provinces and branches, the ANC believed that it would hold a successful conference from December 16 to 20.

”We have a national conference that is going ahead and we will not make assumptions on what could happen or not. We run an organisation and are working very hard to make sure that the conference is successful and stable … anarchists should be dealt with by provinces, if an anarchist is [at] the conference, the first line of defence should be your province … if they do not, we will take you out of the conference.”

Mantashe said President Jacob Zuma, as the outgoing ANC president, delivered a political overview to the last official NEC meeting during his term. Zuma spoke at the meeting in a “fatherly tone” and addressed himself as “outgoing president”, he said.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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