Mabuyane supporters claim premier is being sabotaged
Chris Hani region branch general meetings ‘targeted’
Several supporters of Eastern Cape premier and provincial task team convener Oscar Mabuyane believe there are deliberate attempts to sabotage him by disqualifying certain branches in his home region, the Chris Hani region.
They have accused ANC national executive committee (NEC) member and head of the party’s national disputes committee Nomvula Mokonyane of manipulating branch general meeting (BGM) outcomes to reduce the number of ANC delegates from Chris Hani.
An insider to Mabuyane’s campaign for re-election, who spoke to Sunday World anonymously, said: “Nomvula is responsible for the BGMS verification system and she has targeted Chris Hani as Mabuyane’s stronghold so that it doesn’t go to the provincial conference at full strength.”
Even Mabuyane’s branch at Chris Hani had to rerun its BGM after failing verification.
Mabuyane is expected to be challenged by another provincial task team member, Babalo Madikizela, when the ANC in the Eastern Cape holds its provincial conference from April 22 to 24, and Ntutu is vying for the post of provincial secretary on the same slate as Madikizela.
The insider said: “There was a huge noise from another faction about us not making inroads at Chris Hani because our branches were being disqualified. But since we started raising issues about these problems, things started running smoothly and their noise has since died down.”
Chris Hani is the third-largest ANC region in the Eastern Cape with 110 branches and about 107 of them qualified to hold BGMS.
But after 95 branches had their BGMS, only 37 passed verification by the cut-off date of February 28.
As a result, Chris Hani was unable to host its regional conference as expected and the provincial task team has scheduled its conference from April 1 to 3.
The region has until March 19 to run outstanding BGMS and obtain the required 70% threshold.
About 18 more branches have since passed verification after they had to rerun BGMS and brought the number to 55, while about 30 more branches are awaiting verification.
Last year, the ANC introduced a digital registration system, which allows its branches to use scanners for the verification of party members’ IDS and their membership.
Those tasked with operating the scanners received special training at Luthuli House. They are expected to scan members’ IDS before branch meetings.
During the Cadres Forum at Ngcobo last Saturday, Chris Hani regional secretary Lusanda Sizani lamented that there was something sinister behind the number of Chris Hani regional branches that had failed verification.
“We know that we are being targeted as a region. While the system is supposed to be blind it appears that it has eyes when it comes to this region [Chris Hani].
“We have reports on our side where the scanners have captured everything well but at Luthuli House they tell us that the scanners didn’t capture everything correctly.
“We keep on rerunning our branch meetings and we will do so consistently until all our branches are fine.”
When Sunday World followed up on these assertions, Sizani said he was in a meeting but said regional chairperson Wongama Gela could speak on this matter. But Gela said he could not pinpoint the problem to a specific individual, adding it was shocking for the region to find itself at on the back foot on the cutoff date.
“I’d rather be on the side of caution and consider other factors rather than pointing fingers.
“We are a rural region, with network problems, perhaps that could be a factor as to why certain information ends up not being registered by the database. But there may be those manipulation factors as well.”
Five other Eastern Cape regions are also rural with network difficulties but Gela said he was not aware that they had experienced similar problems. He said the branches had given a strong indication of the regional stance, which has called for the leadership status quo under Mabuyane.
When asked for comment Mokonyane said: “I can only say the system generates the reports and this is an ANC internal matter.”