ActionSA ejects six KZN members amid claims it has been infiltrated
The party’s national chair Michael Beaumont has made it clear that the party will not tolerate any individuals who are not advancing the party. That is why a decision was made to issue suspension letters to at least six members from their KwaZulu-Natal structures.
Speaking to Daily Maverick on Wednesday, Beaumont was adamant that there is a deliberate attempt to weaken the party’s structures following their good showing at the 2021 local elections. He specifically mentions the governing ANC, saying that the organisation could be disgruntled with the strides which ActionSA has made especially in Soweto and KwaZulu- Natal.
This follows the exit of acting eThekwini chair Busisiwe Ntshingila and uMgungundlovu regional chair Mohammed Khan, ActionSA women’s forum chairperson Monica Mgaga — as well as the dissolution of the KwaZulu-Natal provincial executive committee in the space of 24 hours.
In her resignation, Ntshingila likened ActionSA to the ANC while Khan said that the structures in the province had been taken for granted.
However, Beaumont sees the resignations as part of a bigger plan by the party’s detractors. He said that they were taking the hardline on the matter and dealing with anyone suspected to be a part of a ploy to damage the party’s reputation.
Members who are suspected to be in cahoots with the ANC have been sent membership termination letters and have 24 hours to plead their case to stay within the organisation.
“Six [members have been suspended] so far and counting. I think why that number is important is that people always try to construe that they are somehow representing a ground force and the majority of people. The reality is you’re talking about a handful of people who are overstating their influence in the organisation. And the reason why that’s particularly important is because at the end of the day, ActionSA is continuing,” he said.
“ActionSA has provisions in our constitution that allows us to terminate membership within 24 hours, or people who commit offenses that are that egregious because we are constitutionally stated as an organisation with the purpose of removing the ANC from government. So it is fundamentally incongruent for a member to do anything to the contrary,” he said.
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The party’s Senate meeting held on 9 August 2022 made the final call on the dissolution of the PEC. The party believes it is a necessary measure to route out “traitors” and ensure that they can rebuild their structures.
“I think there’s a case to be made, there are a number of political parties that have come and gone because they were indecisive in how they dealt with such things. Whereas we pride ourselves in being incredibly responsive to those kinds of matters. I think the point should be made further. It cannot be forgotten that it is a very deliberate agenda to infiltrate ActionSA. So we see it across the board. And the simple truth is that there has never been a challenge to a political party that walks in and takes 22% of the votes in Soweto. And when you do that you’re striking at the heart of the ANC,” he said.
This follows a recorded conversation which was discovered by the orgainsation between a former member of the PEC and an ANC member, which involved soliciting ActionSA’s support to protect the ANC in KZN Municipalities for money. This individual’s membership was summarily terminated.
The party did not name the six members issued with letters to terminate their membership.
ActionSA National Director of Operations, John Moodey, will oversee all political activities in the province pending the arrival of a new chairperson in October 2022.
“Essentially we discovered that something was wrong, with the resignation of the eThekwini chair yesterday morning. We called a senate meeting to say listen, the best step is to dissolve this PEC, so that there is no basis upon which these individuals can derive positional authority in making damaging claims about ActionSA.
ActionsSA has dissolved its KZN leadership with immediate effect. The party alleges that the outgoing structure has been infiltrated by some individuals with an aim of weakening it. ActionSA national chairperson Michael Beaumont elaborates.
— Newzroom Afrika (@Newzroom405) August 10, 2022
“It was actually telling because two resignations took place while we were in the Senate meeting. It’s almost like the word was out that we were having this meeting. I get the sense that this is also about the incoming provincial chairperson. We intend to make an announcement in the month of October. And I suspect some of these individuals had their own idea that they would be the ones driving things in the province and they would be the beneficiaries of the elections and the incoming provincial chairperson would be a big threat to their agenda,” Beaumont reiterated.
ActionSA’s woes in the province started at the beginning of the year. The former interim provincial chair Musa Kubheka resigned last month after serious allegations including pointing a gun at another senior party official. Kubheka took over from Makhosi Khoza as the KwaZulu-Natal leader of ActionSA in January, after she had a feud with both Beaumont and party leader Herman Mashaba.
Beaumont admits that the party will have to be far more careful when appointing its new leadership in the province.
“Of course, when it comes to the vetting of people, you can fit criminal issues. But you can’t fit what’s in somebody’s heart.
“One of the things that the Senate has expressed itself is that we do need a programme that we call the political academy to acclimatise people into ActionSA. We are recognising that when people join a political party, 28 years into democracy, they’re generally coming from somewhere, wherever somewhere may be, and there needs to be a process of saying to people, ‘this is who we are, this is what we stand for’. We must disagree with one another and be robust about many things. But on these things, we have to have one opinion,” according to Beaumont. DM