ANC: 90% of BCM branches dispute poll
Appeals panel hears flood of ire over Mkolo’s election to regional chair
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
MAKING A POINT: Dozens of ANC supporters blocked the entrance to the East London City Hall on Thursday.