Picture: Nhlanhla Phillips/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Johannesburg - Divisions have forced the ANC to postpone planned regional conferences over the weekend in Gauteng as some of the party members threatened to take the organisation to court over alleged irregularities. The party took the decision in the wake of a recent court decision that interdicted a provincial conference of the organisation’s biggest province, KwaZulu-Natal.

A group of ANC members from the West Rand, including several members of the regional executive committee, on Monday, staged a picket outside the ANC’s special national executive committee (NEC) meeting in Irene, urging it to intervene.

The ANC’s special meeting was aimed at dealing with challenges of unity within the party, which have seen the party’s disputed conferences being interdicted and taken to court for nullification across its structures throughout the country.

Regional executive committee member William Matsheke said they had lost confidence in the provincial leadership under acting provincial chairman and Premier David Makhura and provincial secretary Hope Papo, whom he accused of allowing the flouting of internal processes, including fraudulent rigging of data sent to branches and the holding of branch meetings at people’s homes.

Matsheke said all questionable branch meetings had to be rerun by the NEC as the PEC and REC were conflicted because of interest, adding that a court challenge would ensue against both the regional and provincial conference if this was not done. “As per the constitution of the ANC and as per the guidelines, we followed all the necessary procedures. If they will fail this, we will be left with no other options but to go to court. It is bad when the ANC leaders do not follow guidelines of the ANC. Going to court is not bad because we have no other option,” Matsheke said.

ANC national organiser Senzo Mchunu - who received the petition from the disgruntled members - said the conference would not be allowed until their grievances were addressed. “There is no other interest that you have other than making sure that all processes of the organisation in all provinces and regions must be fair and just. These will be attended to,” Mchunu said.

ANC provincial spokesman Motalatale Modiba said the provincial leadership would not comment on the matter, as the memorandum had been escalated to the party’s national top brass. “The memorandum will be cascaded down to the province. Only then will we be able to comment. But there has been an interaction with the secretary-general, Ace Magashule, about the matter as we have been updating him about the progress,” Modiba said.

Speaking on the sidelines of the NEC meeting, Magashule said the ANC will soon take a decision to block its members from dragging it to court when they are disgruntled with the party’s internal processes.

He said the ANC was exercising patience regarding those who continued to take it and its decisions to court, adding the party would soon draw a line against this tendency.

Political Bureau