Things fall apart: Two ANC provincial structures face collapse
In-fighting causes disintegration of governance in some municipalities
The ANC is facing an implosion of its Free State and Eastern Cape structures as faction fighting reached boiling point this week.
Disgruntled members from different factions in both provinces on Monday made oral presentations to national ANC officials at Luthuli House in Johannesburg.
At the centre of the problem in both provinces were complaints regarding the status of the Free State provincial task team (PTT), led by Paseka Nompondo as convener and William Bulwane as co-ordinator, and the Eastern Cape provincial executive committee, led by Oscar Mabuyane as chairman and Lulama Ngcukaitobi as secretary.
“The members came to express a number of organisational issues,” ANC national spokesman Pule Mabe said without going into any detail.But Times Select understands that two factions from the Free State, from opposing sides, made presentations to newly elected ANC head of organising Senzo Mchunu. Ironically, their complaints were about Mchunu’s opponent at the ANC’s national elective conference in December, Ace Magashule, who is now the secretary general.
An ANC insider told Times Select that a Free State faction complained that the PTT largely favoured Magashule. “Another thing is the fact that the disbanded PEC wanted to appeal the December high court ruling that disbanded them. Hence the urgency to speak and convince them otherwise,” the source said.
A faction from the Eastern Cape, aligned to former provincial chair Phumulo Masualle, also visited Luthuli House to request the release of the Sbu Ndebele Report into the province’s elective congress.
This faction consisted of disgruntled former PEC members, including former spokesperson Mlibo Qoboshiyane, former deputy chair Sakhumzi Somyo, former treasurer Thandiswa Marawu, former PEC member Andile Lungisa and social development MEC Nancy Sihlwayi.Times Select has it on good authority that the group raised concerns over a perceived purge against those who did not support the Mabuyane faction.
“Those who had different views going to the conference are being targeted. Mayors have been fired and all they talk about now is to reshuffle the provincial cabinet. When Masulle was first elected as chairman he never removed [Noxolo] Kiviet as the premier. We are seeing this for the first time,” a source said.
Another source said the national officials were made aware that in regions that did not support the new PEC, such as Amathole, Nelson Mandela, Chris Hani and Joe Gqabi, the PEC has taken its powers to preside over ANC caucuses.
But Ngcukaitobi said the PEC was merely exercising its constitutional powers.
“We would have acted negligently could we have not acted in the municipalities where leadership of such municipalities acted in abyss with total disregard of the society they are elected to serve. In all the four municipalities – there was a total collapse of governance and delivery of essential services to the people. No purge – people must act in the best interest of the society and the ANC and stop blaming others for their non-adherence,” he said.As the group was engaging with the national leaders, another group was protesting at the party’s provincial headquarters, Calata House, calling for the disbandment of the PEC.
This prompted the Mabuyane-aligned faction to organise a march to Calata House in support of the PEC. However, the march that was supposed to take place on Wednesday was cancelled after Mabuyane discouraged it.
In a Facebook post Mabuyane wrote: “Marching to the ANC offices for or against is not a right thing to do. It is the act that damages the brand ANC. We appeal to all members and supporters of the ANC to exercise restraint, refrain from such act as it borders on ill-discipline. Let’s have trust, confidence in the constitutional structures and leadership we have, because it is the leadership we deserve.”