The ANC’s national executive committee heavyweights were locked in a meeting with provincial leaders on Monday to try to find a way forward after the PEC was dissolved. File photo: Phill Magakoe
Cape Town - The ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) heavyweights were locked in a meeting with provincial leaders on Monday to try to find a way forward, after the Western Cape provincial executive committee (PEC) was dissolved.

Political analyst Shingai Mutizwa- Magiza said it was not going to be an easy task, as factional infighting within the ANC in the province had been festering since 2009, especially following the dismal showing in the May national and provincial elections.

Mutizwa-Mangiza, a post-doctoral fellow at UWC’s department of political studies, said: “The PEC has been faction-ridden since 2009. And it is a reflection of the dominant factions in the party. This intensified with the exit of Marius Fransman in 2016, after sexual assault charges against him.

“The decision by ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte and a team of NEC deployees to formally disband the PEC at a meeting was mandated by the party’s constitution,” said Mutizwa- Mangiza.

At a meeting held at the ANC’s Cape Town headquarters, Duarte said the movement was looking at restoring its values in the province. The meeting was attended by Police Minister Bheki Cele, among others.

Cameron Dugmore, leader of the official opposition in the provincial legislature said he had no comment.

The ANC NEC announced the decision to disband the PEC last week, saying it was concerned by infighting taking place in public.

Mutizwa-Mangiza, who specialises in political party development said: “The performance of the ANC in the May elections across the province was an indictment on the party.”

The ANC should have capitalised on the infighting in the DA to win more seats but had failed to do so, which “showed the level of the crisis dogging the party,” he said.

In a statement on Monday, Duarte reiterated that “a provincial interim committee would be formed to implement organisational renewal and rebuilding, as well as take the Western Cape to an elective conference”.

“The first task of the interim committee would be to sort out the ANC branches. Each branch would be required to have a programme of action. The interim committee would then plan and hold regional conferences, before arranging a provincial conference to elect the new PEC leadership,” Duarte said.

A source in the disbanded PEC said one of the problems in the provincial ANC was the weak branch organisation. “To prepare for an elective provincial conference, at least 70% of the branches need to be intact. We found in the run up to the May elections that less than 50% of the branches were intact, which is why the scheduled June conference was postponed.”

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Cape Argus