ANC’s North West in poll scare

CityPress - - News - SETUMO STONE and JUNIOUR KHUMALO news@city­

ANC lead­ers are con­cerned af­ter an in­ter­nal poll showed the party gar­ner­ing a mere 55% of the votes, com­pared with the 67% it scored in the last gen­eral elec­tions in 2014.

The pro­vin­cial ANC has been try­ing to res­cus­ci­tate it­self since it dis­banded the pro­vin­cial ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee (PEC) and fired for­mer North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo (pic­tured). But a task team ap­pointed to run its af­fairs has found it tough to re­solve the po­lit­i­cal turmoil there, es­pe­cially given the push-back by dis­grun­tled party branches.

Ka­belo Mataboge, spokesper­son for the ANC’s North West in­terim lead­er­ship, said the task team had con­tin­ued to as­sert its author­ity de­spite its le­git­i­macy be­ing chal­lenged in courts, in coun­cils and on the streets.

“The re­sis­tance is planned and well or­ches­trated, but we are weather­ing the storm,” he said this week as Mahumapelo and other ap­pli­cants in the case to nul­lify the task team lost a high court bid to hear the mat­ter on an ur­gent ba­sis.

Mataboge said an­other wave of re­bel­lion had seen ANC coun­cil­lors use mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties as a plat­form to show re­sis­tance against the task team. “It is part of a de­lib­er­ate ef­fort to un­der­mine the task team, with mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties used as a plat­form to show that re­bel­lion by do­ing things that are out­side ANC norms.” He said a fea­ture of this re­bel­lion was the re­moval of ANC may­ors out­side of party pro­to­col, and in ca­hoots with the op­po­si­tion, as had hap­pened re­cently in Mat­losana (for­merly Klerks­dorp) Lo­cal Mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

This week, the lo­cal govern­ment MEC in the North West, Fenny Gao­laolwe, dis­solved the Mat­losana may­oral com­mit­tee fol­low­ing the may­oral va­cancy. Mataboge said the process to con­vene branches in prepa­ra­tion for the North West elec­tions list con­fer­ence was also mov­ing “at a snail’s pace be­cause we have started a new chap­ter” – re­fer­ring to the oust­ing of Mahumapelo.

“The progress is good, and we in­tend to meet the stip­u­lated dead­line by next week­end and pro­ceed with the list con­fer­ence from there.”

City Press has learnt that this week, the task team read the riot act to ANC coun­cil­lors in at least five mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties across the province over is­sues of mis­con­duct. And, in Dr Ruth Se­go­motso Mom­pati mu­nic­i­pal­ity in Vry­burg, the team found out that three ANC coun­cil­lors had been axed as mem­bers of the may­oral com­mit­tee with­out their knowl­edge. District mayor Boi­tumelo Mahlangu was an ally of Mahumapelo.

Mean­while, Mahumapelo is con­vinced that may­ors, directors in the lo­cal govern­ment and mu­nic­i­pal work­ers who backed Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in the lead-up to the ANC’s Nas­rec con­fer­ence are be­ing purged from party struc­tures.

Speak­ing on Fri­day at the Jo­han­nes­burg High Court, where he and other ANC mem­bers lost an ap­pli­ca­tion chal­leng­ing the dis­band­ment of the North West PEC, he said: “The sit­u­a­tion in the North West is dis­turb­ing. Mem­bers who openly sup­ported Dlamini-Zuma are be­ing ousted from party struc­tures.”

He went on to ac­cuse the pro­vin­cial task team of “en­gag­ing in fraud”, say­ing some of the mem­bers’ names [who openly sup­ported Dlamini-Zuma] had since been re­moved from the ANC mem­ber­ship lists with no rea­sons given.

“All th­ese is­sues have been brought to the at­ten­tion of the party sec­re­tary-gen­eral, Ace Ma­gashule,” said Mahumapelo.

Se­bang Motl­habi, a sus­pended mem­ber of the ANC Youth League PEC, was among the mul­ti­tudes at the high court on Fri­day in sup­port of Mahumapelo. He echoed the lat­ter's’ sen­ti­ments, say­ing: “The de­ci­sion by the na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee [to dis­solve the pro­vin­cial PEC] was an emo­tional de­ci­sion not based on merit.”

He said the de­ci­sion was taken to re­ward those who were loyal to Ramaphosa with new roles in the task team.

Mahumapelo said in Jan­uary, he had led a del­e­ga­tion of Dlamini-Zuma back­ers to meet Ramaphosa to ad­dress “the con­cern that mem­bers in the North West and other provinces were be­ing ex­punged from party struc­tures by those loyal to ... Ramaphosa. This is why, on [Thurs­day], I wrote a let­ter to the sec­re­tary-gen­eral, re­mind­ing him of th­ese is­sues.”

Mahumapelo was quick to qual­ify his al­le­ga­tions, say­ing: “I don’t think it is Ramaphosa, though. It is those with their own vendet­tas, es­pe­cially against me, and other com­rades who did not sup­port Ramaphosa.”

Mahumapelo said the lack of de­ci­sive ac­tion by ANC lead­ers was why he and other dis­grun­tled mem­bers had met with for­mer pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma in KwaZulu-Natal.

“The meet­ing was never se­cret or about any plot. It was meant to in­form Zuma that my ef­forts to re­solve dif­fer­ences through en­gag­ing the cur­rent lead­er­ship had come to nought, lead­ing to my de­sire to fol­low the lit­i­ga­tion path,” he said.

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