Gauteng ANC lays down the law

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Johannesburg - Gauteng ANC members disrupting branch meetings and making threats of violence will be disciplined, the provincial party said on Tuesday.

“There are (a) few instances where meetings were disrupted and members who hold different views were intimidated and threatened with violence,” African National Congress Gauteng secretary David Makhura told reporters in Johannesburg.

“Disciplinary action will be instituted (and)... we will continue to take the necessary measures to ensure that the remaining meetings take place in a climate free from intimidation and violence.”

Makhura said the provincial ANC knew who the disruptive members were.

“We do know in each of the cases, and I want to say that it is not hundreds and hundreds of ANC members,” he said.

“The number of meetings where we have had trouble is less than 10 out of 383 (branches that completed nominations).”

National ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said earlier on Tuesday that ANC members who acted criminally during meetings deserved to be arrested and jailed.

Mthembu was commenting on a report in The Star on Tuesday that a prominent ANC member allegedly threatened to shoot his fellow Gauteng branch members following a disagreement over the nomination process.

“We do not condone such actions. If a member does that, then they belong behind bars,” he said.

The Star reported that the incident took place at the Adelaide Tambo branch, Olivienhoutbosch, Pretoria.

The disagreement between members erupted over claims that the audited membership for the branch had been tampered with.

There was reportedly conflict between members supporting a second term for President Jacob Zuma, and those who wanted deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe to replace him.

Makhura said the provincial executive committee (PEC) had decided to take a “bold step” to ban T-shirts that campaign for candidates.

However, the party needed to focus on issues like lobbying and its electoral processes in future so that it could “modernise” and not become an “organisation of the past”.

“It (the ANC) will get there one day. You will witness it in your lifetime,” Makhura said.

“The reformers don't get tired. They (will) keep pushing for reforms until this movement... (that is) 100-years-old is fully modernised.”

He said the PEC would meet on Saturday to finalise preparations for the provincial nominations conference and it's provincial general council (PGC).

“The conference will take place during the course of next week. It is only at that time Gauteng's position (on the ANC leadership) will be finalised,” Makhura said.

“We have given branches that are remaining more chance (to nominate) so that branches don't feel like they have been prejudiced.”

The council would be held on December 9, and would focus on finalising the province's position on policy issues.

“We know that attention... has just been on the leadership, but the national conference of the ANC is not just about the leadership issue,” Makhura said.

“We haven't dropped the ball (with regards to policies). After the PGC we are going to go to the national conference with a set of policy positions that we are going to rally different provinces around.” - Sapa


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