South Africa


Disgruntled ANC Boland members plan to nullify elective conference

Disgruntled ANC Boland members plan to nullify elective conference
(Photo: Waldo Swiegers / Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The recent ANC Boland Region conference in the Western Cape went ahead despite reports from the Interim Provincial Committee that it did not meet threshold requirements.

Disgruntled ANC members from the Boland Region in the Western Cape are planning to have the recent elective conference nullified. 

Court papers yet to be filed but seen by Daily Maverick call for the conference to be declared null and void as displeased members claim there were irregularities. 

This comes against the backdrop of similar problems in the Eastern Cape, where an East London court nullified the Buffalo City Metro’s ANC Dr WB Rubusana region, placing the election of chairperson Oscar Mabuyane in jeopardy.

The Boland region – the party’s second biggest – held its seventh regional conference from 30 September to 2 October 2022. 

The first sitting was postponed last month due to security concerns. Delegates had reported that some of them were surrounded by men brandishing guns who attempted to force them to vote for their preferred candidates. 

Now it seems there were problems with the second sitting as well. 

Daily Maverick can reveal that a day before the conference was set to convene, the Interim Provincial Committee (IPC) sent a letter to the Boland Regional Task Team (RTT) and branch secretaries informing them that the Boland region had not yet met its 70% required threshold for a conference to be held.

The letter directed certain wards to urgently hold branch general meetings as some of the wards either did not reach quorum, failed verification and/or did not qualify for the regional conference. 

Despite the IPC’s letter, the conference went ahead and hours before official proceedings could go ahead, a lawyer’s letter highlighting the irregularities and attempting to interdict the conference was given to the IPC. 

ANC Western Cape spokesperson Sifiso Mtsweni said they had dealt with the matter and the conference went ahead as planned. 

The ANC is racing against time to convene other regional conferences for three regions, namely Dullah Omar, Central Karoo and the Southern Cape. So far only three regions have held conferences in preparation for the national conference to be held in December. 

IPC coordinator Ronalda Nalumango confirmed that she wrote the IPC letter and when asked why the conference was not stopped, she said, “Our committee decided that the conference should go ahead. I raised the concerns as contained in the letter but we will deal with this in the working committee meeting.”

She declined to comment on what consequence the letter could have as it said the threshold was not met. 

Boland RTT convenor Nobantu Bushwana, who is part of the committee that received the letter, declined to comment. 

“The conference was unconstitutional,” said one delegate who asked to remain anonymous due to safety concerns. “The coordinator correctly encouraged us to go and do reruns because some branches were not in good standing.” 

He added that on the day some delegates could not get a place to sleep and food to eat. 

“Were told there were no more keys to rooms and about 25 of us had to sleep in vehicles while certain people had their friends in rooms booked for us by the party.”

“It was clear from the get go that people that supported certain slates were not welcome. We were expected to participate fully in the conference yet we did not eat and sleep properly.”

He also claimed money was exchanged for votes. Daily Maverick could not independently verify this.

IPC convener Lerumo Kalako denied these allegations saying they came from disgruntled members who were not happy that their preferred candidate did not win. 

“All delegates slept in hotels,” he said. “In fact we had extra rooms to such an extent that we are saying we over-booked rooms. The conference was signed off by the office of the secretary-general.” 

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Richard Dyantyi, a member of parliament and current chairperson of the section 194 committee in Parliament that is looking into Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office, was one of the people presiding over the conference. 

He is said to be interested in the provincial chairperson position in the Western Cape and is a staunch supporter of ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa. 

He declined to comment and said all questions should be directed to the IPC. 

Daily Maverick also established that there were no National Executive Committee (NEC) deployees at the conference. This was despite ANC spokesperson Sifiso Mtsweni initially saying that NEC member Mondli Gungubele was present at the conference.

Usually the NEC deploys members to provinces to preside over regional conferences and give additional support to provincial leadership. The members also partially represent the office of the secretary-general so that if there are issues/objections, they can be attended to immediately as opposed to postponing a conference while waiting for the secretary-general’s office to respond. 

The deployed NEC members also assist in giving additional information to the NEC whenever conferences do not go ahead as planned. 

When Daily Maverick approached Gungubele who is deployed in the Western Cape for comment, he said he was not present as he was busy with ministerial duties. 

Mtsweni, when presented with this information, changed his tune saying “I will have to check the register but it is not a must that NEC members must be present.” 

Daily Maverick has learnt that the brandishing of guns during the first sitting happened while NEC members were present and this might have influenced their decision not to attend the second sitting. 

Mtsweni said they were not aware of any plans to take the results of the conference to court. 

He said the party’s national leadership signed off and gave the go-ahead for the conference to sit. 

“Everything was above board,” he said. “The signed audit report is the only authority that approves a regional conference at national and guides the province to lead accordingly. 

“We as the provincial leadership observed as per normal processes. It is the nature of a hotly contested conference to have disgruntled members and there are channels to be followed by those members.”

Nomvula Mokonyane, ANC’s head of organising, campaign and mass mobilisation said she could not confirm nor deny that the conference went ahead despite not meeting the required threshold. 

“I am not at the office and I cannot verify the correspondence you have. The IPC might be placed to comment.”

News24 reported that Patrice Mangena was elected chairperson while Sebenzile Kiva was elected his deputy.

The conference also endorsed Lindiwe Sisulu for president. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • John Smythe says:

    Ag! Who cares. Same old same old. Always infighting, incompetence, moaning, destroying, comrade this and comrade that. The ANC can’t run a bath, never mind a meeting.

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