Pretoria - Blood will be shed if the ANC holds the regional elective conference in October with the current leadership still intact.
Concerned members of the party in Tshwane - the biggest region in Gauteng - have vowed to be sacrificial lambs to “stop the rot eating away the heart of the ruling party”.
They warned that if party leader Jacob Zuma did not intervene, the ANC in the region would die.
The members said they would not fold arms and would put their bodies on the line for the cause.
“The conference will happen when all democratic processes have been followed,” said Abraham Mashishi, who is mobilising disgruntled members with Apson Makaung. Mashishi said it would be disastrous if chairman Kgosientso Ramokgopa and his team led the ANC into the 2016 municipal election. That would be handing Tshwane to the DA on a silver platter, he said.
The ANC obtained less that 50 percent votes in Tshwane in the May 7 election. Critics blamed e-tolls for the decline, but the ANC Youth League in Tshwane and now Mashishi, have cited poor leadership.
Ramokgopa said the disgruntled members were expelled from the party by the national office for hosting a parallel conference in 2011.
Last week, the group marched to the regional office to express their views in a protest that left many injured after they were attacked by people with sjamboks. The attackers were believed to have links with the leadership.
Mashishi, who was pictured at the offices brandishing a gun, said there would be more protests if the leadership was not dissolved. He said ANC national should call for fresh processes where all members in good standing would be allowed to participate. He said the nomination process had to be run by the national office, just as the party intervened in Limpopo and the Free State under similar circumstances, with huge success.
Mashishi said the group would lead the way for other regions with questionable leaders to follow. “The membership audit for the upcoming conference was flawed. The leadership made information available to branches that support them,” Mashishi said.
“They create havoc and attack people where they know they have no support, like they did in Hammanskraal. Thousands of membership forms were torn and thrown away,” he said.
Recruits for municipal initiatives such as Vat Alles, the expanded public works programme and rapid response are registered as ANC members to boost their support, Mashishi claimed.
Mashishi laughed off the declaration by regional secretary general Paul Mojapelo that the wisdom list - members who will participate in the conference - was signed off by ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe. He said the national office captured and worked with information supplied, the names and figures cooked up at regional level.