Johannesburg - The ANC has taken over the collapsed nomination processes in the anti-Zuma provinces of Limpopo and Western Cape, but refuses to entertain complaints that the North West meeting that unexpectedly endorsed President Jacob Zuma had been rigged.
The party has appointed two national executive committee (NEC) task teams to reconvene the aborted provincial general councils in these two provinces, effectively taking charge and sidelining their respective provincial leaders.
Addressing a media briefing at Luthuli House on the outcomes of the special NEC meeting on Tuesday, ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said teams of six members each were expected to be sent to facilitate the reconvened nomination meetings in Limpopo and Western Cape on Wednesday.
However, he denied that the ANC was under siege and that it faced massive problems ahead of its Mangaung elective conference.
Mantashe blamed the Western Cape ANC provincial executive committee and Zuma’s backers, who had stormed the Limpopo conference, for the collapse of the meetings.
The two provinces had until Wednesday to successfully nominate candidates for the party’s leadership positions, or “forfeit their right to nominate and will therefore only be able to exercise their nominating right from the floor of the conference”.
Mantashe said the NEC teams that handled branch nomination disputes in Limpopo and Western Cape would also be part of the provincial general councils “so that they can readily confirm their determination”.
Branches which had been directed to rerun their nomination meetings had until Friday to do so, Mantashe said.
Speaking to The Star after the media briefing, Mantashe said the task teams would “be in charge” of the reconvened meetings “because the NEC is the highest decision-making organ between conferences. Once we deploy people, they are in charge.”
Nomination meetings in the two provinces had degenerated into chaos at the weekend due to infighting over credentials.
In Limpopo, Zuma supporters stormed the venue, hurled stones and held Julius Malema’s ally, provincial ANC Youth League secretary Jacob Lebogo, hostage and threatened to kill him.
Chaos and intimidation marred the North West ANC nomination conference, and provincial secretary Kabelo Mataboge survived an apparent assignation attempt.
However, he said the ANC would not reconvene the North West conference.
“As far as we are concerned, that conference went well. It concluded its business and we are only left with two conferences,” Mantashe said.
He confirmed that aggrieved North West members who had travelled to the NEC meeting in Pretoria did not get access to the party’s top brass.