Deputy Police Minister Bongani Mkongi’s “head of office” Jabu Mfusi stayed in a hotel, paid for by the Police Ministry, where he called for the disbandment of ANC’s provincial executive committee (PEC).
Mkongi on Sunday also confirmed he had paid for a boardroom where a press conference was held, which called for the disbandment.
Mfusi, who until last year’s local government elections had been a councillor in the City of Cape Town, insisted that he had not been a guest at the Townhouse Hotel, but a call to reception confirmed that he had stayed there and that his accommodation was paid for by the Police Ministry.
Mkongi said he had paid for the use of the boardroom as “a future provincial chairperson”.
Earlier, ANC dissidents, including members of five regions and some from the party’s provincial executive had called for the PEC to be disbanded, painting a picture of dysfunction and skulduggery with decisions being taken at odd hours, motivated by narrow factional interests.
Their call comes after a decision by the ANC provincial executive to disband the Dullah Omar (Cape Metro) region at a meeting which stretched into the early hours of Sunday. Dullah Omar regional chairperson, Xolani Sotashe, was in a defiant mood at a press conference, along with his comrades from Boland, West Coast, Overberg, and Central Karoo.
“We’ve been observing a series of anti-ANC activities in the province, and we’ve been raising these things because we are saying we can’t fold our arms when the movement is going down. The Western Cape is the only province that has ‘caretakers’ yet we have a PEC which was elected in a conference,” said Sotashe.
In February last year the ANC’s NEC appointed Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba and Sue van der Merwe amid legal controversies which had embroiled former chairperson, Marius Fransman, and under-fire provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs.
Fransman was eventually booted out of the ANC after a sexual harassment case against him.
Jacobs was accused, and criminally charged, with the assault of an ANC researcher. He was handed a suspended sentence by a party disciplinary committee, and the criminal case was thrown out of court.
Sotashe admitted the Western Cape ANC was riven by factions, and that the five regions had approached the provincial executive for “bilaterals” where they could have discussions about the challenges the party faced in the province.
“Unfortunately all that fell into deaf ears (sic).”
Sotashe said, ultimately, the regional executives stood accountable to the branches which had elected them.
ANC Boland chairperson Pat Marran said the party was going through a “silly period” with the upcoming policy conference which starts on Friday and the elective conference in December.
“This PEC has promised that they support CR17 (Cyril Ramaphosa) and therefore they must deliver on that particular promise. They are in a very uncomfortable situation because there’s no PEC that can exist without branches or without regions,” said Marran.
He said moves by the ANC provincial executive to disband Dullah Omar, and curb the powers of Boland was an attempt to centralise power in Jacobs’s office “who will ultimately determine who will the branches be and who will the delegates be ”
ANC Central Karoo regional secretary, Windy Plaatjies, said the party’s provincial executive meeting on Saturday broke down because branches were demanding answers over candidate list irregularities from last year’s local government elections.
Jacobs said the “unauthorised” press conference and statements by regional executive members was regrettable and went against the ANC, its policies, its values and its practice.
“While there was a debate and disagreement from a minority of PEC members, the majority were firmly behind the decision to disband the Dullah Omar Region. The reasons for this decision were given in a report to the PEC and will be communicated to the ANC HQ and NEC,” said Jacobs.
He said dissidents have been “disruptive, destructive and divisive” ever since the ANC’s last provincial congress in 2015.