Delegates ‘gloat’ over conference disruptions

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Independent Newspapers

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe.

Limpopo - Two regional Limpopo delegates sent text messages to ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, gloating about disrupting the provincial nomination conference.

But Mantashe was apparently peeved by the behaviour of the delegates of the Waterberg region, which supports President Jacob Zuma for a second term, questioning the rationale of such action.

This is contained in an internal ANC report that explained why the chaotic conference collapsed.

Mantashe would not comment and accused The Sunday Independent of sniffing at dust.

The report showed that the Limpopo conference had gone through “serious difficulties with many disputes”.

It said: “The biggest problem was with the branches of Waterberg that felt marginalised and complained of their delegates having been changed. It is these delegates that stormed the conference. Two of these delegates sent SMS messages to the [secretary-general] almost congratulating themselves for successfully disrupting the conference.”

The report also said the ANC leadership “must deal with genuine problems” and “deviant behaviour of seeing disruption of an ANC meeting as a source of pride”. The first conference was chaotic and was aborted after fighting over credentials.

A group of Zuma supporters stormed the Polokwane venue and held former Limpopo ANC Youth League secretary Jacob Lebogo hostage, manhandled him and threatened to kill him. Lebogo is an ally of former ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema.

The second conference took place on Wednesday and continued into Thursday this week after the national executive committee (NEC) gave the province a second chance to finalise nominations.

Mantashe said on Tuesday at Luthuli House that if the provinces did not nominate this week, they would have to wait until Mangaung to nominate from the floor.

The second conference, which took place this week under the eye of NEC members, nominated Kgalema Motlanthe for president, Mathews Phosa for deputy president, Thandi Modise for chairwoman, Fikile Mbalula for secretary-general, Thenjiwe Mtintso for deputy secretary-general and Tokyo Sexwale for treasurer-general.

But the Waterberg region was still not happy with the outcome of the second conference. It denied that its members had sent texts to Luthuli House and that they had collapsed the first conference.

Waterberg regional secretary Andries Lekalakala said the conference was illegal because the region’s delegates were replaced by what he called “bogus people”. He said that the majority of people had not been nominated by their branches.

“We compiled a list in our regions and when people arrived [at the conference], they were removed.

“The numbers were not agreeing with Motlanthe’s people. People who were not members of the ANC were at the conference and had registered on behalf of [legitimate] delegates.”

Lekalakala said the Zuma supporters left the conference so that it could not be “legitimised”.

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini, who led the NEC deployees, said she was concerned about the security and the delegates’ verification process.

sibusiso.nkomo@inl.co.za

Sunday Independent


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