Pretoria - ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said on Friday that he did not know anything about reported “ghost members” in some provinces.
“I know that we have a very respectable team from headquarters that went to each and every region of our country. They went to each and every province and... there were claims of ghosts even when they were auditing,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the ANC's national executive committee (NEC) meeting in Centurion.
“But the outcome of the audit has put us at over 1.2 million. Now these are the members that are residents in all the branches, in all the regions and all the provinces of the African National Congress.”
Mthembu said he was not worried about the claims about ghost members because a proper audit had been done.
ANC Eastern Cape secretary Oscar Mabuyane told Business Day the party had discovered that databases from public and private institutions had been used to get people's details to enrol them.
Some were not even aware they had been made ANC members.
Mabuyane said this was discovered when the membership register was checked ahead of branch meetings to discuss the upcoming national elective conference in Mangaung.
The ANC's NEC is holding its meeting at The St George Hotel, in Irene - the last meeting of the NEC elected at Polokwane in 2007.
Mthembu said President Jacob Zuma had presented a political overview earlier in the day.
“The president raised mainly organisational issues. As you will know, we are going to an elective conference in less than a month's time, so the president spoke on the strengths and weaknesses of the ANC,” Mthembu said.
“One of the issues that the president raised and continues to raise is the issue of instilling discipline in the ANC.”
He said the incoming NEC would have to deal with many of these issues.
Zuma also said the ANC needed to be up to speed with what was happening in communities. This was so the party was not taken by surprise when there was a service delivery protest.
Mthembu said the branches in those areas where there were protests needed to be able to tell the party's national office why the community was unhappy.
“If branches can't tell national office what is going on, maybe there is a serious problem in the way our branches operate,” he said.
The NEC would also look at preparations ahead of the elective conference.
Mthembu said more than two-thirds of the ANC's branches had held their branch general meetings (BGMs).
“All BGMs should be done and all provinces should have consolidated all their nominations in that province by the 30
November 2012,” he said.
“We have more than 70 percent of the branches that are finished and we want the other 30 (percent) to get there.”
All ANC branches in good standing are holding meetings to nominate their preferred candidates for the party's top six positions and the NEC.
They will then take their nominations to their provincial nomination conference, in preparation for the elective conference.
Mthembu said the NEC would start discussing the organisational report and sign-off on it; this report would then be taken to Mangaung.
Other reports to be discussed were the 2011 Census and African Union Commission chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma's report on irregularities in provincial councillor lists. - Sapa