The newly elected leadership of the ANC Women’s League in KwaZulu-Natal is facing a legitimacy challenge after the conference that elected it is said to have been marred by irregularities.
This follows a dispute filed with the national office of the league by a senior member of the league in the eThekwini region who says 53 votes are not accounted for.
During the conference that was held last week at the Durban ICC, the Nonhlanhla Khoza faction narrowly edged out the one led by Bongi Sithole-Moloi, and they were separated by not more than 10 votes.
Both Khoza and Sithole-Moloi are MECs in the provincial cabinet led by Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube.
In the dispute, Nompumelelo Mabaso, the coordinator of the regional task team for the eThekwini region, claims that three separate registers were used for the conference.
According to her, another anomaly was that the voter roll that was used on the day of voting was not certified or endorsed by the RTT coordinators as required.
As a result, she says the outcome is tainted and should be nullified.
JUST IN: The results of the elective conference of the ANC women's league in KwaZulu-Natal are finally in. Nonhlanhla Khoza's slate narrowly defeated the slate of Bongi Sithole-Moloi. @IOL pic.twitter.com/V6D1XJpBXa— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) August 7, 2023
"This compromised the integrity of the voters' roll used for voting because a number of comrades who were previously appearing on the registers were no longer appearing on the voters' roll therefore denied access or right to vote. I therefore challenge the validity of the voters' roll that was used on voting," Mabaso argues in her letter of dispute.
She said that before approaching the national office, she raised her concerns and lodged her dispute during plenary.
Furthermore, she alleged that voting was disrupted on two occasions when it was stopped for hours.
But she did not state who stopped it or why.
However, IOL understands that it was stopped by one of the provincial top five leaders, who stormed the voting venue with her squad of bodyguards.
"Based on my submissions, it is very clear that this conference has many inconsistencies that could not be explained or corrected from the first day of conference August 4 to its adjournment on the 07 or 08 (today) of August 2023.
"I, therefore, submit that the NEC reject the outcomes of the 6th KZN Conference of the ANCWL," she concluded her dispute.
Mabaso confirmed to IOL that she was the author of the dispute, and she is yet to hear from the national office of the women’s league.
The newly appointed spokesperson of the league, Sibongile Khathi, said the conference was above board and had a steering committee that attended to all issues that arose.
"Ms Mabaso like any other member in good standing, has the rights and responsibilities within organisational practices, principles, and guidelines to express her grievances on any matter," Khathi said.
She added that they believe that Mabaso is challenging the outcome, not the processes followed to convene the conference.
"We also believe this letter is challenging the outcome, not the process, because the Conference was convened and conducted under the guidance of National Executive Members who were deployed to the Province.