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Cape Town -
A sombre mood hung in the ANC section of the Western Cape legislature on Wednesday as word spread that most MPs aligned to former ANC provincial chairman Mcebisi Skwatsha did not make the cut during the party’s list conference held in Langa on Sunday.
But it was not only the legislature that was hit by the news, as Western Cape ANC members who are deployed to the National Assembly were also affected by the list saga.
About 300 ANC delegates from 126 branches across the province gathered in Langa’s Monwabisi Hall at the weekend to vote for their preferred candidates to be deployed to the legislature and Parliament after next year’s general election.
And while the outcome of Sunday’s list conference has not yet been made public, highly placed sources within the party said several ANC MPLs and MPs were not positioned high enough on the lists to ensure that they will be back in their posts.
However, it’s not yet a done deal, as many could still make the list after certain adjustments are made by the party leadership, who will be looking at issues of gender, continuity and demographics before lists are finalised.
Several MPLs have already indicated that they will withdraw. But the old faithfuls, like ANC chief whip Pierre Uys and MPLs Carol Beerwinkel, Khaya Magaxa and Chris Stali (also the party’s caucus chair) have secured their slots in the legislature.
ANC insiders who attended the weekend’s list conference told the Cape Argus that drama unfolded behind the scenes, with allegations of a so-called secret meeting being held prior to the conference in a bid to cause disruptions.
And once again supporters aligned to Skwatsha have been fingered as instigators in an alleged plot to interfere in the outcomes of the conference.
Members with close ties to the stalwart said that when the Dullah Omar region were busy voting, the Skwatsha-aligned group were “annihilated and wiped clean off the list”.
There were claims within ANC circles that a certain faction held a meeting in Gugulethu on Saturday where members allegedly planned to disrupt the meeting and dishonour the so-called party unity by not voting for those on the “unity” list that was widely spread throughout the ANC branches in the province.
“Instead of staging a coup, they ended up being scrapped from the list,” another source said.