South Africa


ANC NEC task team to deal with North West 2021 local election candidate row

ANC NEC task team to deal with North West 2021 local election candidate row
From left: Former president Kgalema Motlanthe. (Photo: Gallo Images / Nardus Engelbrecht) | North West interim provincial committee coordinator Hlomane Chauke. (Photo: Supplied) | ANC Treasurer-General Paul Mashatile. (Photo: Leila Dougan)

A disgruntled group of ANC North West members want the party to fire ward councillors who they say were irregularly and wrongfully appointed last year. This is a huge risk for the party as it will trigger by-elections which could see them lose more wards. The ANC has established a task team to probe the matter.

The row over councillor positions in the ANC in the North West has spilled over into 2022, with a group claiming that some councillors were irregularly appointed last year. Now, a team will probe allegations that provincial party structures manipulated municipal candidate selection processes. 

In a letter sent to North West interim provincial committee (IPC) coordinator Hlomane Chauke — signed by party treasurer-general Paul Mashatile and dated 4 July — it is noted that the investigations should be completed within the next two months. 

“The NEC [National Executive Committee] mandated the national officials and the NWC [National Working Committee] to establish a special investigations team as a matter of urgency to focus on widespread allegations of the manipulation of the candidate selections processes by BECs, RIVPs,  IRCs, PLC and IPC in North West.

“This decision was noted and supported by the NEC meeting on 2-4 July 2022. The NEC agreed that the task team should complete its work within 60 days. We request you to communicate this decision to all structures in the province and to ensure that the investigative team receives the necessary co-operation to execute its tasks,” the letter reads.

Read in Daily Maverick: Supra Mahumapelo suspended in clear attempt to clip RET faction’s wings 

The investigative team — which consists of ANC provincial list committee members from other provinces — will be convened by Tate Makgoe. He will work alongside Mary van Wyk, Peter Maluleke and Dina Pule. Chief Livhuwani Matsila will support the team.

Pakiso Mqikela said the North West group’s main gripe is that the ANC had not bothered to follow its own dispute resolution timeframes, and that it had to take drastic measures to force the party to take action. 

A report compiled by the electoral committee led by Kgalema Motlanthe earlier this year outlined the extent to which the North West provincial list committee (PLC) had failed to carry out its duties.

The committee recommended that an investigation be launched before any action was taken against the councillors involved. This was to ensure that any drastic decisions were consistent with the ANC’s constitution and reduced the risk of litigation.

It said that the reports submitted by the PLC show that the committee processed both disputes and appeals, which meant it acted as referee and player in the process. 

The committee said it had on many occasions tried to find solutions to the woes faced by the province, but it seemed as though the PLC was “overzealous” and sometimes operated outside its jurisdiction when attempting to recall councillors and trigger by-elections. 

The report was released in March and led to the ANC’s initial decision to establish a task team in April. However, this never materialised. 

Read in Daily Maverick: ANCs continuing factional struggle in North West is another major headache for Luthuli House 

The disgruntled group representing members who have logged at least 150 disputes ambushed Motlanthe at the offices of his foundation in Houghton last Wednesday. This was an attempt to press the ANC to resolve the grievances. 

However, the group did not get an opportunity to speak to Motlanthe as Mashatile hastily called Mqikela to explain that the electoral committee had done its part, and that he would be ensuring that a team was sent to North West. 

Mqikela, who is a part of ward one in Matlosana (Dr Kenneth Kaunda region), claims that he was meant to be a councillor. He says the provincial list committee admitted its mistake and gave the assurance that it would be rectified. 

“I was elected through the processes of the ANC. The guidelines stipulate that the community will be the last arbiter of the candidate selection process. I had the most votes in the voting districts. They took the fourth-highest candidate and allowed them to take the position,” said Mqikela. 

“The PLC called us in October and acknowledged that they have messed up, and we are pleading that they go back to the community. Then they asked me to do an affidavit to say that in three months they will rectify, but now they are starting with their delaying tactics,” he said. 

Mqikela is doubtful whether he will see a satisfactory outcome.

“We acknowledge that the ANC has come with a dull response. The terms of references are not clear… where we are seated, we have the report of the PLC to which it was submitted to the electoral committee,” he said. 

“What makes us doubt is that there were several letters with timeframes… where they said that by June 30 2022 all councillors should be in council.  It implicates people who are occupying the office, so they want to guard against a situation,” he said. DM


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