Cape Town - Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi - the man deployed to help the ANC provincial leadership win back the Western Cape in 2014 - says he will start cracking the whip within the party this week.
Motsoaledi, an ANC national executive committee (NEC) member, said his first task would be to implement the recommendations of a report which uncovered irregularities and manipulation in the way ANC candidates were selected before the 2011 local government elections.
The NEC announced last week that the positions of 125 ANC councillors across the country hang in the balance after it was decided to implement the recommendations of a probe which discovered manipulation in the process of their nomination.
Former Home Affairs Minister and AU chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma led a task team that investigated the irregularities after complaints were received from disgruntled branch members across the country.
This is likely to result in by-elections and could cause further divisions within the party at branch level, say analysts.
In the Western Cape, members accused provincial chairman Marius Fransman and his executive of influencing and manipulating meetings before the May 2011 elections and “pushing through” candidates without following the proper processes. Fransman denied the claims in 2011.
On Sunday, Motsoaledi said his first task would be to implement the recommendations of the report.
“I’m coming back on Wednesday to implement those findings,” he said.
Asked how many of the 125 councillors were in the Western Cape, Motsoaledi said: “It would be irresponsible of me to disclose that information before sharing it with the branch members and those involved.
“After I deal with those involved I will reveal what happens next.”
Fransman and ANC provincial secretary Songezo Mjongile welcomed Motsoaledi to thunderous applause at the Philippi Stadium on Sunday, where national ANC chairwoman Baleka Mbete addressed about 3 000 ANC supporters.
“Comrade Aaron has a big responsibility, but as the leadership of the Western Cape we are behind him,” Fransman said.
Motsoaledi said one of his key tasks over the next 15 months would be to “drastically increase” the number of ANC members in the Western Cape. There are currently 38 000 party members in the province.
Mbete said Motsoaledi was charged with “dealing with the issues in this province” and to ensure that the ANC was “once again strong” in the Western Cape.
Mbete also called on members to unite and rally behind the party’s newly-elected leadership.
Cosatu provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich said: “We must liberate this province from the DA.”