ANC: 90% of BCM branches dis­pute poll

Ap­peals panel hears flood of ire over Mkolo’s elec­tion to re­gional chair

Daily Dispatch - - News - ZINE GE­ORGE and SIMTHANDILE FORD zineg@dis­patch.co.za

Pum­lani Mkolo’s ac­tive in­volve­ment in the re­cent Dr WB Rubu­sana Rubu­sana re­gional elec­tive con­fer­ence was on the agenda of the ANC’s na­tional ap­peals com­mit­tee hear­ing that be­gan at the East Lon­don City Hall on Wed­nes­day.

Com­mit­tee mem­ber and former North West pro­vin­cial sec­re­tary Dakota Le­goete con­firmed they were in East Lon­don be­cause “90% of branches had is­sues with cre­den­tials of the con­fer­ence and the newly elected re­gional chair­man’s con­duct”.

The na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee (NEC), which met two weeks ago, has a stand­ing res­o­lu­tion that states clearly that both Mkolo and trou­bled ANC Nel­son Man­dela Metro may­oral com­mit­tee mem­ber Andile Lungisa must be re­called as party rep­re­sen­ta­tives in their re­spec­tive po­si­tions.

Mkolo had been on sus­pen­sion since Fe­bru­ary 2016, fol­low­ing his ar­rest – along with other se­nior ANC coun­cil­lors in­clud­ing former BCM mayor Zuk­iswa Ncitha – for their al­leged in­volve­ment in swin­dling R5.9m of metro funds re­leased for Nel­son Man­dela’s memo­rial ser­vices when the former states­man died in 2013.

The ANC’s na­tional in­tegrity com­mis­sion (NIC) or­dered Mkolo not to take part in any party ac­tiv­i­ties, even elec­tion­eer­ing to­wards the 2016 lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions, un­til he was cleared in court.

The Dis­patch re­ported last week that the NEC gave the in­struc­tion that he must re­sign as chair, as the NIC de­ci­sion still stands.

But only pro­vin­cial lead­ers have pow­ers to com­mu­ni­cate such de­ci­sions.

Ear­lier this week the pro­vin­cial work­ing com­mit­tee was as­signed to go to PE to in­form Lungisa about the de­ci­sion.

How­ever, when pro­vin­cial sec­re­tary Lu­lama Ngcukay­i­tobi was asked when the de­ci­sion would be com­mu­ni­cated to Mkolo, he said the ANC was un­aware of such a de­ci­sion, and added: “We are not go­ing to own up to ru­mours”.

The party had ear­lier de­nied Dis­patch re­ports that there was a stand­ing de­ci­sion to re­call Lungisa as an NMB may­oral com­mit­tee mem­ber.

The stand­ing of the en­tire Rubu­sana re­gion is now in ques­tion as an ap­peals com­mit­tee re­port pre­sented to the NEC two weeks ago – which has since been shelved – rec­om­mended that the Mkolo-led ex­ec­u­tive be dis­banded and re­placed with a task team.

But that was not to be, as more dis­putes were reg­is­tered with party sec­re­tary-gen­eral Ace Ma­gashule’s of­fice by new branches.

Le­goete said: “We made a re­port to the NWC and the NEC but we were or­dered by the high­est de­ci­sion-mak­ing body to come to BCM be­cause other branches sub­mit­ted more dis­putes.”

These new dis­putes were from wards 8, 13, 20, 21, 23, 25, 29, 30, 35, 39, 44, 49, and 50.

This was in ad­di­tion to the branches that reg­is­tered dis­putes im­me­di­ately af­ter the an­nounce­ment of the elec­tion re­sults. Among these was ward 16 (Haven Hills, Winch­ester Gar­dens, High­way Gar­dens, Morn­ing­side, Cam­bridge lo­ca­tion, Sum­mer­pride, Dawn and parts of Ama­linda) whose branch chair, Silumko Bushula, ar­gued against open­ing the process of han­dling dis­putes afresh, say­ing ac­cord­ing to the ANC con­sti­tu­tion, only dis­putes reg­is­tered within 48 hours af­ter the con­fer­ence were valid.

But Lo­goete said it was “an in­struc­tion from the ANC’s high­est de­ci­sion-mak­ing body [be­tween con­fer­ences]” to start the process from scratch.

“We are in no po­si­tion to say ‘it is ei­ther my word or none’. That is not how the ANC op­er­ates,” he warned.

The hear­ings started in earnest late on Wed­nes­day, with King Wil­liam’s Town zone branches be­ing the first to speak.

The meet­ing con­tin­ued un­til the early hours on Thurs­day.

Next to speak is Mdantsane zone and then East Lon­don (Dun­can Vil­lage, Kwel­erha, Mooiplaas and Tsholom­nqa).

The hear­ings end on Fri­day.

We made a re­port to the NWC and the NEC but we were or­dered by the high­est de­ci­sion­mak­ing body to come to BCM be­cause other branches sub­mit­ted more dis­putes

Pic­ture: MARK AN­DREWS

MAK­ING A POINT: Dozens of ANC sup­port­ers blocked the en­trance to the East Lon­don City Hall on Thurs­day.

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