South Africa

ROAD TO ELECTIVE CONFERENCE

Trouble and strife cause yet another delay in ANC’s regional conference in Ekurhuleni  

Thembinkosi "TK" Nciza during the African National Congress (ANC) pre-Siyanqoba rally on July 28, 2016 in Daveyton, South Africa. This event is part of the ANC’s countrywide tour to rally support ahead of the local elections on August 3, 2016. (Photo by Gallo Images / Frennie Shivambu)

The ANC Ekurhuleni regional conference has yet again been pushed back because of disputes. Now, one of the branches has accused regional secretary Thembinkosi “TK” Nciza of manipulating branch qualification guidelines to exclude them from the conference. 

Paths leading to most ANC conferences have been turbulent and the Ekurhuleni region is no exception. 

The region’s ANC branch was due to meet last week but that was postponed to this weekend. And because members have still not been able to resolve disputes, the conference has been put on hold yet again.

A number of branch members have been trying to resolve their issues with some claiming that the matters raised are deliberate attempts to disqualify them from the regional conference. 

Ekurhuleni ward 2 secretary Siphiwe Mlangeni claims the goalposts have been continuously shifted by regional secretary Thembinkosi “TK” Nciza

The first issue was around the number of people who were a part of the branch meeting but this was resolved when another meeting was held to ensure that the required quorum was met. Only 187 branch members arrived at the first meeting, when the required number was 201. Two hundred and thirty-seven members came to the second meeting, meaning they had a quorum.

Mlangeni said Nciza then queried whether the ward followed the correct guidelines regarding the membership system which the party now does electronically. The ANC system uses scanners to verify a member’s ID and their ANC membership.  

“They are trying to use technicalities to disqualify branches. Usually we are told to form a quorum. The communique says we must call a branch general meeting and every member of the ANC must participate; then we are told that people who do not have their IDs must bring licences but the machine does not allow us to scan licences which means we have to load them onto the system manually. 

“We did that and then the secretary told us that we were not allowed to have more than 10% of delegates loaded manually,” Mlangeni said. 

On Wednesday, a virtual meeting was held to resolve the impasse. ANC national executive committee member Nomvula Mokonyane, and Gauteng and Ekurhuleni leadership, including Nciza, attended. 

Mlangeni says he was shocked that people who were not in the branch meeting were called to account for what had transpired. 

“They called people who were not at the branch meeting to come and account on the issues. We do not know who called the meeting but they were explaining what happened. How is this possible?” he said.

In a letter addressed to Gauteng deputy secretary Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko on 13 May 2022, Mokonyane said the party had found transgressions of system guidelines for wards 2, 40, 50, 99 and 106.

While ward 108 was qualified to go ahead with the election of a branch executive committee, it did not do so. Attempts to resolve the disputes in the ward have been ongoing since last week.

Nciza insists there was nothing untoward about how he had handled the matter and said that all processes were done according to the party’s prescribed guidelines. He said members were quick to run to the media claiming processes were flouted.

“I did not come with the rules, it’s the national leadership which decided on them and now that they [branches] are not following procedures they want to say it’s TK,” Nciza said. 

He raised the importance of dealing with disputes timeously to avoid legal challenges. 

“We are subjected to the thinking of the province that no region must sit when there are still underlying issues. The ANC has developed a new system because there were a lot of issues around meetings and all members of the ANC welcomed this system,” according to the regional secretary.

Nciza said several issues had arisen out of the dispute resolution process. 

“There are branches that did not go to branch general meetings, and there are branches which did not have more than 100 members so they do not qualify to go to branch meetings, they still need to recruit and have enough members. 

“When we talk about renewal, you must precisely speak about these things, including that we do not want bogus branches in the ANC,” he said.

Ekurhuleni has 112 branches and it will be up to the secretary-general’s office, which is led by treasurer-general Paul Mashatile, to decide whether they will all qualify to participate in the regional conference. 

Despite the disputes, Nciza confirmed that the region has reached the required threshold to go ahead with the election of leadership. 

The provincial dispute resolution committee is yet to finalise a way forward regarding the matter. It’s expected this will be done next week.

“Ekurhuleni has reached 70%, so we are ready to go to the conference,” he said.

 Nciza is said to be vying for the secretary position again on the same slate as the current chairperson Mzwandile Masina and deputy chairperson Jongizizwe Nhlabathi. 

This is the slate aligned to Gauteng Cooperative Governance MEC Lebogang Maile contesting as chairperson of the province. 

Ward 16 chairperson “Xiporo” Andrew Baloyi, along with regional treasurer Doctor Xhakaza, will be contesting for the positions of deputy chair and chair, respectively. They are endorsing Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi to lead the province and Nkomo-Ralehoko to be his deputy.

The greater Johannesburg region will be holding its conference next week after it was initially supposed to also be held last week. Its conference was halted last week after former City of Joburg mayor Mpho Moerane was injured in a car crash. Moerane’s family confirmed that he had died on Wednesday evening.

The party attributed the delay to outstanding disputes in the region which they will have to solve by next week. 

So far the Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga and Northern Cape have elected their leaders. 

In the Eastern Cape the conference was postponed on more than two occasions because of complaints emanating from the Dr WB Rubusana and Chris Hani districts. 

The Dr WB Rubusana region took the party to court on the day the voting of new leadership was supposed to commence.

The Gauteng conference is due to take place in June. DM

 

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  • It is quite unbelievable to think that this small minority of the population who are clearly not qualified to elect a proper leader, has the power to elect a president and the rest of us must sit back and hope to God that we don’t get another Zuma. So much for democracy. The whole system is designed to ensure that anyone who doesn’t vote along the lines of the current thinking is automatically disciplined for some fake reason and then disqualified from participating. It always amazes me that Ramaphosa managed to defeat this crowd of crooks (well more crooked than the CR17 faction) with the inherent leaning of the branches to self-enrichment and to hell with the rest of us.

  • The ANC “Conferences” are SA’s version of Punch & Judy.
    Each performance (conference) consists of a sequence of short scenes, each depicting an interaction between two characters, most typically Mr. ANC and one other character who usually falls victim to Mr ANC’s slapstick. They have become a staple of the South African political scene. The various episodes of these comedic Conferences —often provoking shocked laughter—are dominated by the clowning of Mr. ANC.
    Consequently, Mrs Mokonyane, you don’t actually have to have been at the performance to know exactly what happened there!

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