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Mbalula warns Western Cape ANC: ‘You are fighting for nothing and yet the power is gone’ 

Mbalula warns Western Cape ANC: ‘You are fighting for nothing and yet the power is gone’ 
ANC Secretary-General Fikile Mbalula addresses delegates at the ANC Western Cape Provincial Conference on 24 June 2023 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo: Nathi Qondile)

The ANC Western Cape elective conference finally commenced on Saturday amid allegations of vote-buying. ANC Secretary- General Fikile Mbalula delivered the keynote address at the conference, which has also been marred with lengthy delays due to registration and accommodation woes. 

ANC Secretary-General Fikile Mbalula used his address to plead with the dysfunctional ANC in the Western Cape to get its house in order. 

Mbalula said the DA, which has governed the province since 2009, is governing without being challenged by the opposition (ANC). 

“You are busy fighting for nothing and yet the power is gone,” he told the delegates. “The DA is chasing us everywhere in the country (where we govern); we can feel them. Even with lies and distortion, they are there.” 

Mbalula believes that some of its members have used money to influence the party’s provincial structures. 

“Some of you will get money and, come Monday, it will be finished. At least take the money, but put the organisation first and understand where you are going.”

Mbalula took the hard line on issues around members who are not toeing the party line, adding that they would not tolerate unacceptable behaviour. 

Mbalula said National Executive Committee (NEC) members present at the conference were not deployed by the NEC, but he did not name them. He said he will keep a watchful eye on them to ensure they do not misbehave and try to cause confusion.

“We cannot afford the ANC to be delayed any longer in the Western Cape. The leadership that will come out here, with all its imperfections, we will correct it along the way.” 

ANC Secretary-General Fikile Mbalula addresses delegates at the ANC Western Cape 9th Provincial Conference on 24 June 2023 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo: Nathi Qondile)

Conference marred by delays

Day one of the troubled conference on Friday went to waste as the party could not commence with the programme. At around 10.30pm, provincial convenor Lerumo Kalako announced that some delegates did not have accommodation as their hotel rooms were occupied by the so-called friends of delegates.

But the delegates who were inside the conference venue heckled, arguing that this was an attempt to collapse the conference. 

This first day had delays of more than 10 hours and, in the end, the programme could not commence. The conference itself lacked vibrancy with a handful of delegates singing around the venue. 

Friends of delegates are party members who are not conference delegates but hang around the conference venues lobbying for support for their preferred candidates.

“Comrades are sitting in hotels,” announced Kalako. “The problem they are creating is that some of them are friends of delegates. I was confronted by voting delegates from the Boland and Overberg (regions) whose rooms were occupied by other people.” 

A number of delegates heckled, objecting to his statement and waving keys to their hotel rooms saying they have their keys. 

“I call on all regional secretaries to walk with me to all the hotel rooms and take everybody in the room down and sort them out with the hotel’s staff.”

The ANC has been in decline in the Western Cape for more than a decade. It’s finally hosting its provincial conference this weekend to elect new leaders who, it hopes, can revive its electoral chances.

In the report that the province submitted to the party’s national executive committee last year, there was an assessment of the weaknesses, which include entrenched factionalism and the manipulation of internal democratic process in the organisation. 

The Western Cape ANC has been in a predicament as its branches were almost nonexistent.

The leadership of the province was dissolved in 2019 after their term of office expired and public spats among its leaders started to get out of control. The ANC NEC then appointed an interim provincial committee.

Read more in Daily Maverick: ANC Western Cape to finally convene elective conference to ‘rebuild and renew’ leadership

Police Minister and ANC NEC member Bheki Cele, one of the NEC members deployed in the Western Cape, walked out not pleased with the outcome. He jokingly called journalists to join him in the hotels to remove the people who are not meant to be there. 

Delegates at the ANC Western Cape Provincial Conference on 24 June 2023 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo: Nathi Qondile)

Delegates at the ANC Western Cape Provincial Conference on 24 June 2023 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo: Nathi Qondile)

Province vows to deal with vote-buying

Meanwhile, the provincial spokesperson Sifiso Mtsweni vowed to clamp down on the use of “dirty money” to influence the outcomes of the provincial conference. 

The party has also barred delegates from wearing regalia bearing the faces of candidates contesting positions or promoting factions.

“We have a discussion document that will be in one of the commissions that will discuss the influence of money and how it eroded the fibre of the ANC,” he said.

In its discussion documents, the ANC said the “demon of money” should be buried and forgotten.

“Money is the antithesis of everything the ANC stands for. This discussion must begin the process to not only talk about it, but as a statement that we condemn and call for sterner action against those who do this and are known.”

He asked delegates, including the media, to come forward if they have any information about people who use money to influence the conference. 

The conference is expected to be attended by 700 delegates, and 650 will be delegates from the branches, the regional executive committees, IPC and the leagues.

The remaining 50 will be guests from the alliance partners, fraternal organisations and key stakeholders. DM

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Glyn Morgan says:

    The DA in the Western Cape proves every day that the ANC is a has-been party. Maybe we can call it a was-party? Wazparty? Or just plain history.

  • Sydney Kaye says:

    Hiw will they challenge the DA
    “YOU HAVE THE BEST RUN PROVINCE WITH THE BEST EMPLOYMENT FIGURES. IN RETURN WE CAN GIVE YOU DISFUNCTION AND CORRUPTION. VOTE FOR THE ANC”

  • Cape Doctor says:

    This 3-ring circus trying to pass for an elective conference serves as an early reminder to any WC resident still unsure how to cast their vote in 2024. I just LOVE the bit about: ” The leadership that will come out here, with all its imperfections, we will correct it along the way.” Oh yeah!

  • Beyond Fedup says:

    We don’t need this rabble rubbish in the Western Cape. Leave us alone! We don’t need you and we don’t want you here! Wherever this vile, criminal, predatory and self-serving party governs, there is nothing but miserable failure and bankruptcy. Gross corruption, theft, malfeasance, nepotism, misappropriation, ineptness, stupidity and arrogance. In fact, do SA a huge favour, get lost forever!!!

  • Peter Merrington says:

    Sigh. “Through the chair, not throw the chair”, says the chairman. Not a promising start.

    Anyway, it is pleasing to live in the Western Cape. My rates are spent well by the W Cape government. Roads are good, services are good, all is rosy. Let’s grant the good o’ DA another term of office and be an example for all. Viva Liberal Democracy. Viva fiscal accountability. Viva a caring, ethical, competent and progressive party. When SA politics is drop-dead boring, without embarrassing meltdowns and exposures, merely focusing on doing the job well, everybody shall thrive.

  • David Pennington says:

    They couldn’t organize the proverbial in a brewery

  • John Smythe says:

    So, some of the delegates brought their friends along for a short holiday? Hahaha!! What a bunch of useless clowns. That in itself is a strong message that this bunch of fools don’t even respect their own.

  • Dragon Slayer says:

    As a result of ANC decline – maybe demise – the Western Cape can safely say, and demonstrate, that it is a functional province with some problems while the rest of South Africa is utterly dysfunctional scraping the barrel for any glimmer of success.

  • harrypoortman001 says:

    Pls respond to all Mbabula’s skewed utterances with fact based articles, devoid of any emotions, just plain facts. And that over and over again. As with basically the majority of ANC representatives utterances. Ad all of these responses to an ever increasing database, to be continually updated online, for all to assess, as well as in regularly “this was the year that was”-books, to be published at the end of any political year. As an ever increasing library of SA’s utmost struggle to showcase our freedom of press: which is what DM is doing daily. To leave a digital and printed legacy of ANC’s failures. For future generations to understand what fights had been fought in order to get things right. The power of perseverant truth and ethical reality always wins. At the end. Until such time: Chapeau for all you do!

    • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

      A very very good suggestion.

    • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

      Using the benefit of hindsight, create a timeline – one for each official language – showing key influence moments in our country’s journey: crimes, convictions, service delivery successes/disasters, critical good/bad/non decisions by key institutions etc.

  • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

    “The DA is chasing us everywhere in the country (where we govern); we can feel them. Even with lies and distortion, they are there.”

    Should read “The DA is chasing us everywhere in the country (where we govern); we can feel them. Even with all our obvious ANC stealing, greed, corruption, uselessness, lies and distortion which fools only the uneducated and benefits only a few ANC criminals while destroying South Africa for all, they are there”

  • pietkruger2 says:

    I hope the hotels insisted on pre-payment!

  • Peter Wanliss says:

    “Money is the antithesis of everything the ANC stands for.”
    Full marks to the ANC for living up to its principles. How efficiently and effectively they are removing money from SOEs, municipalities . . . And by all means available, from sports bags to Boeings with gold bars.

  • If this quote from Sifiso Mtsweni is correct “Money is the antithesis of everything the ANC stands for..” then he has been living under a rock. Money is all the ANC stands for – how to pillage and loot, how to steal, how to bribe – that is what the ANC has proven time and again all they stand for.

  • Peter Holmes says:

    I’ll be blunt. A safe generalisation is that voting in SA follows ethnic lines. I live in the Western Cape. I doubt that many people in Khayelithsa vote for a party other than the ANC. As the demographic of the Western Cape changes, the voting pattern may well change too. What I’m trying to say is, don’t let us get too smug and complacement regarding the ANC’s influence in the Western Cape, regardless of how corrup and incompetent they may be.

    • Karl Nepgen says:

      And this, unfortunately, is a real threat to democracy. The tradition determines that loyalty far outweighs rational truth when ut comes to casting vote or support. Even if this means your own downfall. Colonial style democracy as expected by rationality may just work against the DA. We, sadly, cannot rely on success to be the winning argument.

    • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

      Agree – the DA needs to change the perception. To do this it needs indigenous language communication and community leaders representing all ethnic groups who are able to spread the DA message effectively.

      I struggle to understand why this is so seemingly impossible to achieve and would love to be a fly on the wall in a DA recruitment strategy discussion.

  • David Mitchley says:

    All we need in the Western Cape is for the province to have control over SAPS, then we can sort out the drug dens and the gangs that cause such bloodshed in various areas of the province.
    But I guess this is wishful thinking, goes against the anc policy of trying to make the Western Cape ungovernable, thank goodness they can’t get this right – good will always triumph over evil.

  • Hilary Morris says:

    “Money is the antithesis of everything the ANC stands for” Bwhaahhaaahaaaaa!

  • Brian Cotter says:

    Fikile, you beauty. What a performance. Could not have written a better epitaph for the state of the ANC country wide not just Western Cape.

  • Stratford Canning says:

    The lies and distortion are coming from the ANC, not the DA.

  • bronsmith says:

    Do I understand correctly: “Some of you will get money and, come Monday, it will be finished. At least take the money, but put the organisation first and understand where you are going.” … Is he saying, ‘take the bribe, and do it for your party’?? So *condoning* bribery and corruption, as long as you say/believe/pretend it’s for the party. WTF??

  • Paul Zille says:

    “Money is the antithesis of everything the ANC stands for.” You would have to pay good money in a comedy venue for this kind of humour.
    What the Western Cape story clearly reveal is this: the minute the ANC loses its access to the local, provincial etc. patronage machine, it collapses. Long may this last and spread and grow.

  • Ansie du Toit says:

    This made me laugh very hard! Such shambles and”money is the antithesis for everything the ANC stands??

  • DA is not just a party,but the one has responsibility. Never make mistakes of voting CRIMINALS

  • David Pennington says:

    The clown prince of the ANC Circus

  • Rae Earl says:

    How’s that for an admission of failure? Mbalula says the ANC leadership in the Western Cape with “All it’s imperfections” will correct these “imperfections” as they go along after winning the province. And that’s their aim? Citizens in the Western Cape must accept a sub-standard party which will hopefully manage to sort it’s problems out along the way while governing the province and, no doubt, cleaning out the bank accounts so they can pay salaries at Luthuli House? And what will they do with the surplus money? Send a plane load of security guards to help Ramaphosa’s buddy in Russia fight an insurrection so he can carry on supporting the ANC?

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