Politics / 10 August 2018, 06:58am / Siviwe Feketha
Durban - One of the presidents of the embattled Pan Africanist Congress, Narius Moloto, has slammed the party’s crucial four-day unity conference currently under way, saying it is a meeting of rogue members.
The conference in Kimberley in the Northern Cape was convened by party stalwarts to unite warring camps and give the troubled party a lifeline following years of entrenched factional fights since the dawn of democracy.
Moloto is but one president of the three parallel structures of the PAC fighting for the soul of the liberation movement. The party’s solitary MP Luthando Mbinda and former anti-apartheid activist Letlapa Mphahlele have also laid claim to the throne of the party.
Power struggles in the PAC have resulted in a string of expulsions and counter-expulsions, splinter formations and parallel structures that saw it losing two of the three seats it once had in Parliament.
On Thursday Moloto branded the unity conference - attended by both the Mbinda and Mphahlele factions - as a meeting of rogues who had been booted out of the party.
“Those people are not members of the PAC in good standing. Many of them have been expelled. They are rogue members and that gathering is a rogue gathering. From that conference of theirs, they will go nowhere.”
Moloto was declared PAC president last year after his faction expelled Mbinda as president and a member, even though they failed to remove him as the party’s only representative in the National Assembly.
On Wednesday, Moloto was dealt a huge blow when his urgent court interdict against the unity conference was dismissed by the Gauteng High Court. Delegates stressed they did not regard him as their president, as he was also suspended from the party before his election.
Moloto said he remained the president even if he was not recognised by those who tried to unite behind his back, adding that he was disappointed by the court failure.
“I am elected by the party’s member delegates, properly constituted at the conference. I am not going around seeking recognition. What was disappointing is that despite the fact that we showed the court that we were doing everything in our power to engage these people and show them that we also wanted to unite, they ruled against us,” he said.
Mbinda blamed PAC leaders' political egos for the destruction of the party, saying the conference was critical if the organisation was to survive.
Mbinda and Mphahlele’s national executive committees are set to meet on the sidelines of the unity conference as part of a possible merger and joint plans for the upcoming national conference in December.
“It is exactly what we wanted to do with Narius. I call Mphahlele president and he calls me president. At least we are talking now to resolve our problems so at the end we have one president,” Mbinda said.
Mphahlele slammed Moloto as delusional for rejecting the unity interventions and for insulting founding stalwarts who pushed for it, who included former president Motsoko Pheko and former national chairperson Johnson Mlambo.
“The man is delusional. He attempted to interdict the conference but failed. He has already insulted the founders of the PAC, who were there in 1959 to found the PAC, long before Narius was born; the ones calling on us to meet. He has decided to stand alone and insult all of us,” Mphahlele said.