The clumsy lamentation of people who lost an election
There is yet another underhanded attempt to unseat the Eastern Cape ANC provincial executive committee
The attempts at unseating the democratically and procedurally elected 8th Eastern Cape ANC provincial executive committee are nauseating.
The latest instalment of these underhanded attempts is a document purported to be a report of the Sbu Ndebele-led panel, tasked by the previous national executive committee (NEC) to look into the allegations made by comrades who started chaos and subsequently left the 8th provincial conference venue at the end of September 2017.
If you remove the farcical part of their primary complaint to the NEC – which is riddled with lies, misinformation, false and wrong claims – then their complaint is nothing more than the clumsy lamentation of people who lost an election at a conference.
Allow me to recap the processes that led us to this point.When conference credentials were presented at the conference, a group of delegates started disrupting proceedings for a lengthy period.
At some point during this chaotic disruption one comrade, a former BCM councillor, revealed that their intention was to collapse the conference. The disruptors believed that if the conference did not sit by October 1 it would be rendered illegitimate.
Clearly, what they missed was that the conference was already in session and their attempts would not succeed.
They were relying on a letter written by the former secretary-general indicating that all provincial conferences that were due to sit had to take place before October 1 2017, two months before the ANC’s 54th national conference, which took place at Nasrec.There is video evidence of the former chairperson, comrade Phumulo Masualle, being urged by some of these chaotic comrades who were backing him, going into the conference, to leave the conference venue. No one knows why this was the case and we are left with speculation on this matter, as problematic as it is.As the chaos started the majority of delegates moved to the back of the conference venue, distancing themselves from the noisy singing and provocation.
Chairs started flying when one of the conference disruptors threw a water bottle at the majority of delegates, who had retreated to the back of the conference venue.
This resulted in chaos, during which some delegates, including the signatories to the NEC complaint, ran for cover.Minutes later, after the chaos had subsided, I made my way back to the conference venue with no one preventing me from entering. I saw some of the conference disruptors freely waking around the conference entrance and not attempting to walk back into the venue.
In their complaint to the NEC, they submit lies that were proven wrong by evidence led during various meetings organised by the NEC to resolve the issue. They left out their disruption, the noise and instigation of violence that now comes to characterise the 8th provincial conference.
In a court challenge launched with the intention of disbanding the Oscar Mabuyane-led PEC, they lost. Now they are desperately trying to pit the ANC against the courts of the land with their attempt to argue that the Ndebele-led panel has recommended the disbandment of the PEC, when the latter issue was already dealt with by the court.There is no way such a recommendation to disband can stand because the ANC can never overturn or ignore the decisions of the courts as the party is neither an appeals court nor a constitutional court, which can overturn decisions taken by the lower courts.
Attempting to delay the reconfiguration of the provincial government as resolved by the PEC and submitted to the NEC for implementation, is the only reason for this latest attempt by the complainants.While no one expected the sponsors of the complaint against the election of the new PEC to suddenly don pom-poms and become cheerleaders for the Mabuyane-led PEC, the manipulation of facts and abuse of ANC processes is a clumsy act of desperation on their part.
This should be seen as the fight-back strategy by people who do not want to lose their government positions. What is also worrying is that even the so-called Ndebele Report document they are purveying to all and sundry has missing pages as it jumps from page nine to page 14, showing supposed recommendations from the panel.
I don’t believe this to be the authentic report of the Ndebele-led panel because members of the panel are alert to the reality that the ANC cannot overturn court decisions, which favoured the legitimacy of the current PEC.
There are three possibilities here.
First, this document is not the Ndebele report but a document manipulated by people with vested interests to hog government positions at all costs.
Second, the missing pages are probably a little bit closer to the true account of what happened at the conference and so may have been lifted from the draft of the Ndebele report with the intention to influence the outcome of that process.
Third, this could be a total fabrication of the Ndebele report aimed at influencing the decisions of the NEC with an intention of getting the dully elected 8th ANC PEC disbanded.
There is no way the NEC or any of its structures can take a decision to nullify the election of the current PEC, because processes of the conference were according to ANC procedures, notwithstanding the violence aimed at hijacking the conference.That some comrades disrupted the conference because they did not have the necessary numbers to elect their preferred candidate, resulting in the unfortunate violence, can never be a cogent reason to undermine the democratic election of the PEC. The conference was concluded in accordance with the ANC constitution.
It is vital that the NEC concludes this matter soon so that the comrades who lost the elections at the 2017 conference can accept the outcome of the conference and move on.
The ANC, under the 8th PEC, is busy mobilising support for the ANC ahead of the 2019 elections. We must all be united in pursuit of the people-based objectives of the ANC, which include ensuring a better life for all of us. The current standoff is distracting us from that goal.
Mvusiwekhaya Sicwetsha is a member of the ANC PEC’s communications subcommittee.