ANC opens criminal case after ‘thugs’ clone accreditation tags at North West elective conference
Early on Monday morning, former ANC MP Nono Maloyi was announced as new party chairperson of the North West province. President Cyril Ramaphosa will no longer close the provincial conference after it was hit by a security breach. The cash-strapped ruling party is looking at having a second leg of the gathering in two weeks’ time.
The ANC has opened a criminal case against a group that stormed its registration point at Olympia Park Stadium in Rustenberg and took accreditation tags, which were later cloned by people seeking to participate in the conference illegally.
This was confirmed by the party’s head of organising, Nomvula Mokonyane, during a media briefing on Sunday evening.
Some members of the crowd, said Mokonyane, were rowdy, drunk and ill-disciplined. They manhandled and eventually overpowered the security personnel and the party’s admin staff.
“Fortunately, there’s footage and we hope that as the organisation, we will be able to exercise discipline over and above laying criminal charges against those individuals,” she said.
The tags that were taken and later cloned were meant to be distributed after a readjustment of voting delegates. This was after the Interim Provincial Committee (IPC) and the Interim Regional Committee were stripped of their voting powers by a court action brought by an aggrieved member who argued that the IPC structure was unconstitutional as its term had lapsed three years ago.
Obed Bapela, the head of NEC deployees in the province, said the party would probe where the cloned accreditation was printed, as it seemed a trend for the party’s conferences to be hit by such incidents.
“This is a matter that needs to be looked at,” he said.
Mokonyane, however, suggested the party’s systems were watertight as they could detect the duplicated accreditation tags. It is unclear how many people were involved.
Marred by delays
The conference has been marred by delays including court action, unresolved disputes, irregularities with registration and an insistence on gender parity in the number of voting delegates attending the conference.
Deputy President David Mabuza opened the conference on Saturday evening. President Cyril Ramaphosa had been expected to close the conference on Sunday, but was advised not to. “He really wanted to address the conference,” said Bapela.
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Voting for the top five leadership began on Sunday evening. The conference steering committee proposed that the conference complete the voting for the top five and that the election of the Provincial Executive Committee members and the adoption of reports be postponed to the end of August.
“It has to happen by the 25th, 26th and 27th of August because the NEC [National Executive Committee] in July took a decision that the North West, Free State and Western Cape must be concluded by the end of August.”
There was, however, pushback from delegates who proposed that voting for all members proceed on Sunday night. Bapela said the ultimate decision lay with the majority of the delegates.
It is unclear how the cash-strapped ANC will fund the next conference, with Bapela admitting that hosting a conference was a costly exercise.
On Sunday night, Premier Bushy Maape and former ANC MP Nono Maloyi went head to head for the provincial chairperson position, which was earlier contested by seven candidates, five of whom did not make the final cut.
Read more in Daily Maverick: “Supra Mahumapelo ‘pulls out’ of North West ANC chairperson race and aims for NEC position”
There was an unsuccessful attempt to have Maloyi removed from the race on the basis that he faced a culpable homicide case that emanated from 2018, but that had later been provisionally withdrawn by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
Support for Maloyi appeared to have consolidated. Since the start of the conference, delegates declared their support publicly, some chanting: “We Nono sekusele kancane uzophumelela,” loosely translated as: “It’s only a matter of time Nono, you will emerge victorious”. DM
Update at 8.30am on 15 August, 2022: Former ANC MP Nono Maloyi has emerged victorious in the race for the widely contested provincial chairperson in the North West. Maloyi went head to head with current premier Bushy Maape after five other candidates who intended to vie for the position either withdrew or failed to make the cut. Maloyi received 370 votes while Maape only received 294, announced an IEC official in the early hours of Monday morning.
Daily Maverick will publish an interview with Maloyi later on Monday 15 August, 2022.
— Nonkululeko Njilo (@Nkulee_Njilo) August 15, 2022