ANC NORTH WEST ELECTIVE CONFERENCE
Internal reports reveal gangsters involved in tenders and intimidation of party members
A report, presented at the party’s elective conference in North West at the weekend, paints a frightening picture of the state of municipalities, and how some ANC branches are led by gangsters and former convicts of heist and robbery.
Two internal reports presented at the ANC’s elective conference in North West have laid bare the state of its more than 20 municipalities, many of which have been under the influence of alleged “gangsters” who were at the forefront in the awarding of tenders.
The North West ANC Organisational Report, which Daily Maverick is in possession of, presented at a closed session during the second leg of the 9th provincial conference, paints a frightening picture.
This occurred as the entire provincial government was in 2018 placed under Section 100 of the Constitution for almost three years, in a bid to address political instability and a lack of service delivery.
The internal report, presented by the convenor of the interim structure, Hlomane Chauke, reveals that little to nothing has changed since President Cyril Ramaphosa authorised that move.
Instead, it reveals that some municipalities in the province had collapsed as a result of the involvement of gangs who intimidated and silenced party members in a bid to protect their business interests.
The notorious gangs are known as amaRussia, Tshabarefete and Fear Fokol, the report states.
Zooming into the most affected areas, the report points to the Bojanala district, comprised of five municipalities including Rustenburg, Madibeng and Moses Kotane.
The report states that the regional task team’s effort to bring about stability proved fruitless in this region, as there had been individuals whose business interests compromised and collapsed the organisation.
“Some leaders’ modus operandi in the region was to intimidate and threaten those who differ with them. It is common knowledge by communities that if you differ with particular individual gangsters, they will pay you a visit at home to either beat you up or burn your house down.
“To instil fear among members, there have emerged gangster groupings such as amaRussia, Tshabarefete, Fear Fokol, whose sole purpose is to intimidate the membership of the ANC and beat them to silence. This extends to disruption of council sittings and caucus meetings.”
Meanwhile, in the Dr Kaunda region, which includes Maquassi Hills, Matlosana and JB Marks municipalities, the report indicates that there were deep divisions as a result of two leadership groupings, the REC and Regional Task Team, both claiming to be legitimate structures.
“The municipalities in this region were divided and the major issue is business interests in the region. The major challenge is ANC leaders and members who collude with the opposition parties to the detriment of the political fortunes of the ANC. The region was characterised by gangsters.”
To a larger extent, the report suggests that the challenges of the local municipalities emanate from poor management of the political and administrative interface.
The reports point out that 13 of its 22 municipalities which were placed under administration, had collapsed and failed to perform critical tasks including:
- Supply of water to the communities across the province
- Failure to deal with sewer spillages
- Failure to collect refuse
- Failure to patch potholes
- Failure to deal with prior audit outcomes in terms of the municipal audit outcomes
- Non-compliance with supply chain management processes
The report confirms Auditor-General Tsakani Maluleke’s findings, which earlier this month found that the municipalities in the province have remained largely stagnant over the last five years, mostly on the brink of collapse and that none of the 22 municipalities in the province received a clean audit in the AG’s latest outcomes.
The newly elected top five leadership, however, said it has hit the ground running in its attempt to clean up the municipalities.
Provincial secretary Louis Diremelo said they had been visiting municipalities, particularly those with parallel leadership structures. They warned them to get their house in order within seven days, or risk suspension from the party.
“Should they fail to do that in seven days, we are dissolving the municipalities. We are going back to the ground for by-elections and we told them that all those councillors will be suspended. We would rather have discipline and deal with those who do not want to work with the ANC.
“We cannot go on like that and we are not going to hide it from any of you, we have these challenges and we must deal with them. The whip must start working and we will whip them accordingly,” he said.
Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations
Meanwhile, the party’s political report, presented in an open session and presented by newly elected deputy chairperson Lazzy Mokgosi, suggests that electoral losses that the party had suffered in the last election, were a result of the pain inflicted by the movement on ordinary members and a warning shot from unhappy masses.
“It is very painful that today, our municipalities cannot execute their basic tasks as enshrined in the Constitution. What is even more disturbing is that all councillors went through a vigorous process of interviews to identify the creme de la creme of those elected by communities in terms of our policies.”
The report did not mince its words in expressing dissatisfaction with the current cohort of councillors elected after the 2021 local government elections, whom it partially blamed for the party’s ongoing woes.
“To say we are ashamed of some of these councillors would be an understatement. They perform more poorly than councillors we’ve had since 1994 in this province.
“We must, however, appreciate the few committed, hard-working councillors that still know that they are employees of the ANC,” he said.
The organisational report further suggests that the renewal of the ANC must be centred on its members and the communities that branches serve.
“If we do that, the renewal will be visible. As we renew our movement, the ANC needs to replenish itself, drawing more young people into its ranks and into leadership structures.”
The conference was underway, but on Sunday morning it remained unclear if Ramaphosa was going to close it virtually as he was scheduled to be abroad. Or if Treasurer General and acting Secretary General Paul Mashatile would conclude it. DM