Councillors make way for alliance partners after ANC accused of sidelining
The ANC in the Johannesburg region has taken new steps to mend relationships with its alliance partners as it fights to keep the City of Johannesburg - which it lost in 2016 and regained early this month.
The effort was evident in the party’s decision to recall four of its proportional representation (PR) councillors from the metro in order to make way for candidates from three alliance partners and one league member.
The move comes after months of grumbling by alliance partners across the country that the ruling party was sidelining them when allocating political positions, and taking key governance decisions without alliance input despite campaigning together before elections.
In an internal letter written by greater Johannesburg regional secretary Dada Morero on December 27 and later leaked to Independent Media, the regional executive committee resolved to take that decision after a recent meeting understood to have involved the partners.
Thereafter the members decided to deploy candidates from the regional structures of the SACP, the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco), the Confederation of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) as councillors.
“The regional executive decided to reprioritise the IEC (Independent Electoral Commission) list of proportional representatives. This was done to accommodate alliance partners and the MKMVA. We would like to therefore inform branches of the changes, which are as follows: 1. Gorbachev Dydo; 2. Thomas Thaga; 3. Sibusiso Zondi; 4. Mike Mongwe,” reads the letter signed by Morero.
Furthermore, according to the letter, Justice Ngalonkulu, Oupa Tolo, Ruby Mathang and Dan Bovu were instructed to resign from their council seats in order to make way for the new four.
“The branches should also note that the following comrades have resigned as councillors as part of our programme to strengthen the office of the mayor Comrade Dan (Bovu) has been working in the office of the Premier (David Makhura of Gauteng) since July,” Morero said in the letter.
When asked about its authenticity, Morero confirmed it, but lamented that an internal communication had landed in the hands of the media.
The other three councillors sacrificed for the alliance partners’ candidates were moved to work in the office of the mayor, Geoff Makhubo, but it was not clear what work they would do there.
Independent Media gathered from insiders that one of the recalled councillors, Justice Ngalonkulu, would likely be a political adviser to Makhubo.