Ace Magashule tells higher ANC structures to stop abusing powers
Durban - With ANC branches gearing up to convene their end of five-year term branch general meetings (BGMs) in preparation for the usually hotly contested regional and provincial conferences, ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has cautioned the governing party’s higher structures to stop abusing their enormous powers.
In a letter sent to provincial secretaries, regional secretaries and branches on Wednesday last week, Magashule said all structures in office should remain until further notice and disbanding them was illegal.
His reminder comes amid reports that some provinces such as North West and regions in the Eastern Cape are disbanding lower structures under the guise that their term of office had expired.
This is in conflict with a resolution by the party’s national executive committee (NEC) last year that, because of Covid-19 restrictions on gatherings, all structures in office should stay put.
“We wish to remind you once more about the decisions of the previous NECs from 2018 to date that no structures must be disbanded or dissolved,” Magashule said in the letter.
The essence of Magashule’s letter, however, was giving guidelines to branches on how they should conduct their branch general meetings when the time comes. He told the branches that when the meetings are convened to elect branch, regional and provincial leaders, the party’s constitution must be upheld and Covid-19 regulations strictly adhered to.
“We expect branch conferences, followed by regional conferences and then conferences. All disputes with respect to the meetings must be lodged in accordance with the procedure laid down in the guidelines for branches, regional and provincial conferences. Only disputes lodged in line with this procedure will be attended to by the national dispute resolution committee.
“Provinces, regions and branches are reminded of the resolutions of the NEC that the branch executive committee/branch interim committee must appoint a branch elections facilitation team to run the elections for the new branch executive committee,” he said.
This year’s branch meetings are expected to be fiercely contested as the country is heading to local government elections. Under normal circumstances, the chairperson of an ANC branch becomes a nominee to be a ward councillor.
In KZN alone, all 11 regions, including eThekwini, the ANC’s biggest region in the country, are gearing up for elective conferences and slates have started emerging. In eThekwini it would be a slate backing Zandile Gumede, a former mayor of eThekwini, up against a slate led by Thabani Nyawose, an ANC activist who is a senior manager within the same municipality.
In the Musa Dladla region, which includes Empangeni and Richards Bay, two slates have started to emerge, despite denials that there are tensions within the top five led by Mdu Mhlongo, who is deputised by Thembeka Mchunu, the wife of minister Senzo Mchunu.
One slate is led by Thembeka Mchunu, while the other is led by Mhlongo. Notably, both factions have ditched current regional secretary, Tholi Gwala.
In the Cyril Ramaphosa stronghold of eMalahleni (Newcastle), the grip on power by Dr Ntuthuko Mahlaba (the mayor of Newcastle) is being challenged by a faction led by Senzo Khumalo, a local leader of the ANC youth league.