On Thursday, however, the party said that only one branch, Ward 35 in uMhlanga, had lodged a dispute over BGM processes. The ward held its BGM on Sunday last week.
Branch chairperson Bongi Sithole said the ANC Youth League and the Women’s League had subsequently lodged a dispute regarding the meeting not reaching a quorum and voters roll credentials.
ANCYL provincial spokesperson Mandla Shange said he was not aware of the complaint from the Youth League, while attempts to contact ANCWL provincial secretary Nonhlanhla Gabela were unsuccessful.
Zuma said that of the complaints they had received he had not seen one from the uMhlanga branch.
“When we consolidate the correspondence (from the branches) we will find out if there is correspondence (from Ward 35) or not. It can happen that it (the complaint) is sent directly to me, my personal assistant or one of the staff members, but when we look at all the correspondence this week we will know which branches have lodged disputes,” Zuma said.
With just six weeks to go before the party’s 54th national elective conference, Zuma said they had a team that would listen to the formally lodged complaints this week.
“We can’t deal with each complaint individually and then call the entire committee to listen to that particular complaint as it comes through, so we’re still within the time frame,” Zuma said.
He was not forthcoming when asked to reveal the seven branches that had lodged the complaints.
“It’s enough that we’re saying we have received seven complaints. I can’t tell you from which branches they are,” said Zuma.
Sithole said the complaints by the youth and women’s leagues concerned discrepancies with members' credentials on the voters roll.
“With the voters roll that came after the the audit, there were members who were in good standing, but they were not on it (the roll). No one could explain because it’s done nationally. Based on the voters roll after the audit, there were 254 members,” Sithole said.
She said the branch executive committee did not lodge the dispute.
High-profile figures such as ANC NEC member Bheki Cele, former eThekwini deputy mayor Logie Naidoo, businessman Roy Moodley (who served as the branch chairperson for a decade) and eThekwini head of parks and recreation Thembinkosi Ngcobo (also a former branch chairperson) are members of the branch.
However, attempts to get comment from them were unsuccessful, with Ngcobo declining as he was no longer branch chairperson.