Protesters stop ANC lead­ers from meet­ing

The Herald (South Africa) - - News - No­maz­ima Nkosi

Chaotic scenes played out at the ANC’s Nel­son Man­dela Bay head­quar­ters, Florence Matomela House, on Wed­nes­day as pro­vin­cial ex­ec­u­tive lead­ers were barred from hold­ing a meet­ing to dis­cuss the re­cent dis­band­ing of the re­gional struc­ture.

ANC Eastern Cape sec­re­tary Lu­lama Ngcukay­i­tobi was meant to an­nounce the new re­gional task team but de­fi­ant mem­bers of the ANC and small busi­ness own­ers stormed the build­ing and chased ev­ery­one out, declar­ing the RTT would not hold any meet­ing.

ANC deputy sec­re­tary-gen­eral Jessie Duarte was also meant to meet with mem­bers of the dis­banded re­gional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee (REC) af­ter it emerged at the week­end that they had ap­pealed against the de­ci­sion by the pro­vin­cial ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee (PEC).

The PEC dis­solved the Bay REC in Oc­to­ber but ANC sec­re­tary-gen­eral Ace Ma­gashule wrote to all pro­vin­cial sec­re­taries two weeks ago say­ing PECs should de­sist from dis­band­ing re­gional struc­tures.

ANC branch mem­ber Unathi Skade said Ngcukay­i­tobi was meant to an­nounce the RTT. “They [RTT mem­bers] were all here, wait­ing [for] the PEC to ar­rive, when ANC branches and busi­ness­peo­ple came in­side and said [ANC pro­vin­cial chair Os­car] Mabuyane would not go in, and they threw those in­side out,” Skade said.

“When ev­ery­one had dis­persed out­side, and while com­rades were busy singing, po­lice fired stun grenades on them with­out be­ing pro­voked.”

Bay REC mem­ber Ayanda Si­mayi said the ANC’s na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee, through the Ma­gashule let­ter, stated there should be no dis­band­ing of struc­tures, and PECs that had done this should re­in­stal those struc­tures.

“The rea­son [why] they re­ally want to run with the dis­band­ment [in Nel­son Man­dela Bay] is be­cause when we went to the [8th pro­vin­cial] con­fer­ence we sup­ported the lead­er­ship of Andile Lungisa,” Si­mayi said.

In Oc­to­ber, the PEC re­solved that ANC coun­cil­lor Lungisa should step down as a mem­ber of the may­oral com­mit­tee pend­ing the out­come of his ap­peal against his con­vic­tion and sen­tenc­ing af­ter he was found guilty of as­sault in April.

It asked the REC to im­ple­ment its de­ci­sion.

One of the rea­sons given for dis­band­ing the REC was that it failed to ex­e­cute man­dates given to it by the PEC.

Bay Black Busi­ness Cau­cus co-or­di­na­tor Lithemba Sin­gaphi, who was one of those lead­ing SMMEs out­side Florence Matomela House, said they could not al­low the PEC to re­move some­one who sought to ad­dress their plight when they were the same peo­ple who rec­om­mended that Lungisa lead the eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, tourism and agri­cul­ture port­fo­lio.

“When this mu­nic­i­pal­ity was led by the DA, [ANC pro­vin­cial head­quar­ters] Calata House said ‘you do­nated the votes, find your own way out or learn to be an op­po­si­tion’.

“This young man [Lungisa] fought with other peo­ple to find a strat­egy and iden­ti­fied the weak­est link within the DA, now you want to re­move the per­son who brought us hope,” Sin­gaphi said.

At­tempts to ob­tain com­ment from Ngcukay­i­tobi and Duarte were un­suc­cess­ful.

The Her­ald un­der­stands, the meet­ing with Duarte con­tin­ued at an undis­closed ho­tel un­til late on Wed­nes­day.

Pic­ture: EU­GENE COET­ZEE

AN­GRY SCENES: ANC and SMME mem­bers protest on Wed­nes­day out­side Florence Matomela House, where Os­car Mabuyane and Jesse Duarte were due to meet

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