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Johannesburg - ANC nomination processes turned into an ugly battle, with party members and leaders apparently exchanging blows and threatening each other at the weekend.
The incidents took place in Port Elizabeth and Sekhukhune in Limpopo, where nominations had to be postponed after members literally fought over preferred candidates for leadership positions at the Mangaung conference.
Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) regional chairman Nceba Faku and regional secretary Zandisile Qupe allegedly battled physically.
Details were posted on the Facebook page of a regional member – “Breaking News: NMB ANC Regional Chair and Secretary have fought physically over the leadership of the ANC”.
The fight apparently took place after Qupe was quoted in the local newspaper as saying the metro backed president Jacob Zuma.
This angered Faku, who in turn declared in the same paper he supported change and deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe.
A heated argument between Faku and Qupe apparently ensued at Florence Matomela House, the regional ANC headquarters.
An insider said: “They exchanged vulgar language and punches started flying. The officials quickly stopped the fight.
“They were told to keep it under wraps because it was going to bring the organisation into disrepute.”
He slammed both Nceba and Faku, saying what they had done was alien to the ANC.
“You cannot spoon-feed the members of the ANC with the names of the people they should support. Qupe was spoon-feeding the branches on who they should nominate before the branches decide who they want to elect as their leader in Mangaung. Faku was also wrong.
“The ANC members have to decide on their own [who] they want to nominate as a preferred candidate or president,” he said.
Qupe denied he had exchanged blows with Faku.
But he said it was mischievous of Faku to express his personal choice of leadership in the paper, contrary to the decision of the regional executive committee.
In what has been styled “continuity and change”, Nelson Mandela Bay – the second-biggest region in the Eastern Cape – would continue with the current leadership in the ANC led by Zuma.
But they would replace national NEC member and North West Premier Thandi Modise with NEC member Jessie Duarte, and national treasurer Mathews Phosa with KZN Premier Zweli Mkhize.
“They (Modise and Phosa) have not shown signs of working as [part of] the collective.”
The decision had already been communicated to all the branches and structures of the alliance.