ANC makes changes to lead­er­ship nom­i­na­tion process

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - BALD­WIN NDABA bald­win.ndaba@inl.co.za

THE ANC pro­vin­cial and re­gional struc­tures across the coun­try have been barred from con­sol­i­dat­ing their top six nom­i­na­tion lists ahead of the party’s elec­tive con­fer­ence in De­cem­ber.

This was an­nounced by sec­re­tary-gen­eral Gwede Man­tashe yes­ter­day at the ANC’s Luthuli House head­quar­ters, in what ap­peared to be a clear di­rec­tive to avoid the sim­mer­ing and ugly fac­tional bat­tles for the top six lead­er­ship po­si­tions in the ANC.

In the past, ANC prov­inces had the power to nom­i­nate can­di­dates for the top six po­si­tions and to lobby other prov­inces to sup­port their slate, as hap­pened at the elec­tive con­fer­ence in Man­gaung in 2012.

At that con­fer­ence, the Gaut­eng ANC re­gion was vo­cal in its bid to re­move in­cum­bent ANC pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma and to re­place him with Kgalema Mot­lanthe, but their bid failed.

Man­tashe said the ANC lek­gotla at the week­end – com­pris­ing al­liance part­ners the SACP, Cosatu, the SA Na­tional Civic Or­gan­i­sa­tion and their women’s and youth leagues, took a de­ci­sion to change the nom­i­na­tion process.

He said the ANC branches would have the pow­ers to nom­i­nate their own list and that their lead­er­ship choice would be sealed and sent di­rectly to Luthuli House.

“In line with the 2016 ANC na­tional gen­eral coun­cil res­o­lu­tion that the branch is the ba­sic unit of the ANC… slates must be out­lawed.

“And (be­cause) se­ri­ous ac­tion must be taken to pre­vent and deal with the prac­tice of slates, the ANC na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee (NEC) re­solved to do away with the prac­tice of con­sol­i­dat­ing nom­i­na­tions for lead­er­ship at the re­gional and pro­vin­cial lev­els.

“All nom­i­na­tions for lead­er­ship from the branches will be con­sol­i­dated na­tion­ally by the Elec­toral Com­mis­sion of SA,” he added.

The ANC’s about-turn on the nom­i­na­tion process came while cer­tain sec­tors within it have al­ready pro­nounced their lead­er­ship choice.

The ANC Women’s League caused a stir within the rul­ing party af­ter it pro­nounced on former AU Com­mis­sion chair­per­son Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma to re­place Zuma as ANC pres­i­dent in De­cem­ber.

Cosatu has al­ready ex­pressed its choice for Zuma’s suc­ces­sor, pick­ing Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa to take over the ANC in De­cem­ber.

The women’s league’s an­nounce­ment – made be­fore the ANC’s Jan­uary 8 state­ment – caused a rift within the party.

A few days later, Zuma fu­elled the fires when he told three SABC ra­dio sta­tions that it was not ANC pol­icy or tra­di­tion that an ANC deputy pres­i­dent should au­to­mat­i­cally re­place a pres­i­dent dur­ing an elec­tive con­fer­ence.

Later, Ramaphosa, in an ap­par­ent fight-back strat­egy, told one of Joburg’s daily news­pa­pers that ANC rules to choose lead­ers were likely to be changed at the party’s pol­icy con­fer­ence in June.

This prompted the ANC to strengthen its ban on its mem­bers mak­ing pro­nounce­ments on the lead­er­ship, but that ap­peared to have fallen on deaf ears.

Three more names – those of Min­is­ter in the Pres­i­dency Jeff Radebe, ex-ANC na­tional trea­surer Mathews Phosa and Na­tional Assem­bly Speaker Baleka Mbete – were thrown into the mix, blow­ing the nom­i­na­tion race much wider.

Man­tashe has la­belled th­ese pro­nounce­ments as mere spec­u­la­tion, say­ing “it is just dreams un­til the branches of the ANC have nom­i­nated them.

“It is short-term hap­pi­ness. In line with the ANC con­sti­tu­tion, 90% of del­e­gates at the con­fer­ence will be from the branches, elected at prop­erly con­sti­tuted branch gen­eral meet­ings.

“The NEC was res­o­lute that no per­son who is a mem­ber in good stand­ing at the cut-off date at the end of April 2017 for the pur­poses of au­dit­ing will be de­nied the right to par­tic­i­pate in the life of the or­gan­i­sa­tion,” Man­tashe said.

ANC mem­ber­ship au­dits would take place in May and June, while au­dit queries and com­plaints would be dealt

Branches to choose their can­di­dates later this year

with in July and Au­gust, and branches would meet in Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber to nom­i­nate their lead­er­ship choices.

PIC­TURE: ITUMELENG ENGLISH

REINING COM­RADES IN: ANC sec­re­tary-gen­eral Gwede Man­tashe ad­dresses the me­dia at Luthuli House.

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