70 Limpopo branches fail to hold meetings

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Polokwane -

The ANC in Limpopo heads to its provincial nomination conference this week with 70 branches yet to hold branch nomination meetings, provincial secretary Soviet Lekganyane said on Wednesday.

“They won't participate in the provincial nomination conference if, by Wednesday, they have not convened meetings,” Lekganyane said.

The Peter Mokaba region had the most outstanding branches, with 22 of 98 yet to hold branch general meetings (BGMs).

Lekganyane said the branches had until 9am on Wednesday to convene, or be excluded from the nomination conference.

About 461 delegates would attend the nomination conference. About 574 delegates in the province qualify to attend the ANC's national elective conference in Mangaung next month.

Lekganyane blamed regions' failure to hold BGMs on organisational problems.

“You have a situation where people are members of the ANC, but they have not joined the ANC, they have joined a party,” he said.

“ 1/8So 3/8, when you go to a meeting of the ANC it becomes seriously contested, and the contest is not even ideological. It's contested in terms of a materialistic value system.”

Lekganyane said this could lead to the decay of the quality of members in the future.

Unfortunately, there was no political curriculum vitae to check who would be a good party member.

The decrease in the numbers was a set-back for the campaign for change, as Limpopo and Gauteng are the power-base of this faction.

They have endorsed Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe for nomination as ANC president.

The ANC's biggest province, KwaZulu-Natal, which will take 974

delegates to the national elective conference, has come out in support of President Jacob Zuma being elected for a second-term.

Mpumalanga and the Free State are also likely to back Zuma.

Lekganyane said he was not worried about whether Motlanthe would accept the nomination.

“He has a right as a member of the ANC to accept or decline nomination, and I don't think we should be worried about whether he is available or not available.

“The ANC has never been centred around an individual,” he said.

Provinces supporting Motlanthe have said he embodies the qualities of a good leader.

Lekganyane said this was evident in the way he kept the ANC together during his 10 years as the party's secretary-general.

“We have seen a good and selfless cadre of the ANC in him and we think he has set a very good example,” he said.

Party members needed to ask themselves what kind of leader they needed, especially at this time.

Despite the call for change, Lekganyane said it would not be a problem if Zuma was re-elected.

“Political epochs will differ from one to another. If in a particular epoch he can be appropriate to lead an organisation, it does not always mean that he will be appropriate at all times,” he said.

However, if ANC members in a given era felt that a certain person had to be the leader at that time, there was nothing wrong with that.

“Politically, President Zuma is not a bad person. Each and every human being may have limitations and I think we must live with that and accept that.”

The ANC's provinces have until November 30 to complete their nomination conferences.

During the conferences, delegates will nominate their preferences for the ANC's top six positions and 80 national executive members.

Four names have emerged as the favourites for deputy president.

Provinces calling for a second term for Zuma are endorsing the incumbent, Motlanthe, or national executive member Cyril Ramaphosa.

Those wanting change are backing Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale or ANC treasurer general Mathews Phosa.

KwaZulu-Natal is the only province which has completed its nomination conference. Gauteng, Mpumalanga and the Free State will hold theirs on Thursday. - Sapa

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