DAILY MAVERICK INTERVIEW
New North West ANC chair Nono Maloyi aims for ‘clean-up process’ to rebuild branches
The newly elected provincial leadership in the floundering province faces the daunting task of stabilising collapsing municipalities, and rebuilding and restoring public trust in the ruling party amid a mammoth of challenges including arresting declining electoral support.
Incoming chairperson Nono Maloyi says he is up for the challenges of his new job. In an interview with Daily Maverick, Maloyi was candid about the dire state of the party in the province — hours before he was duly elected.
Despite the condition in which the province finds itself, Maloyi — who beat the incumbent premier, Bushy Maape by more than 90 votes in the widely contested chairperson position — is of the view that a provincial cabinet reshuffle is not necessary.
“That thing is causing problems and a lot of instability in the ANC, that is why you see conferences of the ANC turned into battlegrounds.
“We don’t have to fight over positions. When we get in there we have got business to do. We are not interested in who must go in or out. We are interested in rebuilding the ANC, reviving and ensuring that there is stability in government. So, these comrades must be given time and space to do their work,” he said.
Prior to going head to head with Maape for the powerful position, five other candidates who intended to vie for the position either withdrew or failed to make the cut.
Among them is the party’s strongman and former premier Supra Mahumapelo who at the last hour ‘pulled’ out of the race. Some argued that he did so because he knew that he would not garner enough support, speaking to the publication he however rubbished the allegations.
Mahumapelo said he was approached by those in Maloyi’s camp and asked for his support which he gladly offered as the duo went long back and that he had his eyes on a position at the National Executive Committee (NEC) when the party heads to the much anticipated elective conference in December.
Maloyi received 370 votes while Maape only received 294, announced an IEC official in the early hours of Monday morning.
“I hope that from today, the circus is going to stop. Once it has stopped you’ll be able to focus on the business of the day providing quality service delivery”- Nono Maloyi newly elected chairperson of the ANC in NW. #ANCNW #ANCNWConference pic.twitter.com/9aTBeqM8eZ
— Nonkululeko Njilo (@Nkulee_Njilo) August 15, 2022
For the deputy chairperson position, Lazzy Mokgosi emerged victorious after getting 353 votes while his opponent Paul Sebegoe received 311.
Louis Diremelo was elected provincial secretary and Viola Motsumi as a deputy secretary while the incumbent community safety and transport MEC Sello Lehari was elected provincial treasurer.
The election of the top five leadership comes as a relief for residents who for the past four years have been under the leadership of the IPC, which was appointed by the party’s highest decision-making body in between conferences, the NEC, in 2018.
Interim Provincial Committee (IPC)
The IPC led by Hlomane Chauke was stripped of its voting powers at the conference following an urgent court application in the Mahikeng high court brought by an aggrieved member, Tshepo Bosman.
He sought to have the interim leaders barred from voting on the basis that the structure was not elected by branches and unconstitutional as its term of office ended three years ago. The court ruled in his favour and the IPC and the ANC nationally were ordered to pay costs of the application.
Maloyi commended the work done by the IPC, saying he, as the new leader, would take over from where they left off.
This as he was critical of some members of the organisation. “The calibre of people that we attract in the ANC also leaves much to be desired, more often than not, in a number of branches of the ANC you find a leadership of the ANC being people who do not even understand what is the ANC and so on.”
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Some members of the organisation are in it for “self-enrichment, are unethical” and as a result, Maloyi says there is a need for a clean-up process.
“Once that clean-up process is complete, and we have effective branches then it will be easier for us to do what is required in government because weaknesses in the ANC translate into government and so on. So we need to focus on this thing and change the complexion of the North West,” he told Daily Maverick.
There was an unsuccessful attempt to have Maloyi removed from the race in line with the party’s step aside resolution — 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).
Maloyi slammed his detractors, particularly those from Bojanala district — one of the biggest regions in the province — whom he accused of using an unfortunate incident to settle political scores.
“People will try everything in their power to try and do what they want to do. But unfortunately, this is a matter before court, I can’t comment on it.
“It [the case] is provisionally withdrawn, so we must all wait for the NPA to decide whether they are proceeding with prosecution or not, let us give them time and space to do their work, they must also give me time and space to deal with this private matter and they must not politicise it,” he said.
The NPA could at any point reinstate the case if more evidence emerges. The charges, if reinstated, could cause serious problems for Maloyi and his political future in the party.
The entire North West provincial government was in 2018 put under the administration of the national government. At the time, it was grappling with political instability and a lack of service delivery.
Four years later, it appears that little has changed as Auditor-General Tsakani Maluleke earlier this month revealed that the municipalities in the province have remained largely stagnant over the last five years. None of the 22 municipalities in the province received a clean audit in the Auditor-General’s latest outcomes.
Maloyi said this ought to change, particularly if the party is serious about attracting foreign investment.
“We are popular with conferences that do not take place, lack of service delivery, infighting amongst ourselves, in councils, there are motions of no confidence almost every week, we can’t have that kind of instability if we want investors to come and invest in this province, we need stability within both in the ANC and in the state.”
The North West elective conference was 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 ANC North West convener, Obed Bapela.
The conference was further delayed when a group of “thugs” stormed Olympia Stadium and took off with accreditation tags which were later cloned by those seeking to participate in the conference illegally.
Maloyi expressed disappointment that the party had on more than one occasion during the course of the conference been taken to court by its own members. “It is unfortunate that people believe that instead of following internal party processes of the ANC they must go to the court of law, “ said Maloyi.
“We hope that over time comrades must understand that there are processes in the ANC that must be followed and so on.
“Once people understand the ANC, once we have rebuilt this organisation everybody must feel comfortable and at home. I can tell you now that this infighting will stop,” he said.
Some delegates had raised concerns about vote buying at ANC conferences. When quizzed about this, Maloyi said he was not entirely responsible for his own campaign nor how those responsible for it managed some logistics.
“I wouldn’t know whether money was used or not used. We did not focus on that one, our focus was on ensuring that this conference proceeds.” DM