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Sanco factions smoke peace pipe, form interim leadership structure to be readmitted to ANC-led alliance

The South African National Civic Organisation logo.

Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published Jun 2, 2023


Johannesburg - The two dominant factions of the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) have eventually agreed to sort out their differences and form a national interim structure to lead them until a new leadership is in place.

This follows a letter from the late ANC deputy secretary-general, Jessie Duarte dated May 14, 2019, where she asked them to get their house in order since they are an important alliance partner.

Sanco is the fourth alliance partner of the ANC, the other two being Cosatu and the SACP.

Four years later, Richard Hlophe (also known as Richard Mkhungo) from the one Sanco faction, has been named the national convener while Mike Soko is the new national co-ordinator.

All provincial structures that include the one in KwaZulu-Natal, which is led by former president Jacob Zuma, will be disbanded to form an interim provincial co-ordinating committee (IPCC).

This is contained in a letter dated June 1, 2023, addressed to ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula regarding the matter and jointly signed by Hlophe and Soko.

“The comrades, Richard Hlophe and Mike Soko both as convener and co-ordinator, respectively, were nominated by the two NECs (national executive committees) that held two separate conferences in 2019 (and who are both in court  even now), to lead the NICC (national interim co-ordinating committee) and to represent them in all alliance activities in line with your advice in your letter above.

“We would also like to indicate our availability to meet with you in line with your letter dated 22 May, 2023.

“This meeting will afford us an opportunity to engage and clarify you that you continue to meet with wrong people who just mushroomed from nowhere after all these years being in limbo and want to hijack Sanco, masquerading as Sanco elders, disregarding and undermining the constitution of Sanco willy-nilly.

“The ANC established a subcommittee that was led by the late Cde (comrade) Jessie Duarte, who worked with (comrades) David Mahlobo and Alvin Botes who were meeting with the two NECs that are in court,” read part of the letter.

They further stated that Richard Mdakane, who was elected in the Alexandra national conference in 2019 as president, was fired after a fair hearing.

“He committed a gross misconduct that brought the organisation into disrepute, which led to his suspension by the NEC of Alexandra on August 27, 2021.

“He was then subjected to a fair disciplinary process in terms of (the) Sanco constitution.

“The NDC (national disciplinary committee) of Sanco found him guilty and the sanction was expulsion,” the letter to Mbalula concluded.

Mdakane could not be reached for comment.

Hlophe and Mkhungo confirmed the latest developments when IOL reached out to them regarding the authenticity of the letter.

“Of course yes, on Tuesday, 6 June, 2023, we will establish a KZN provincial structure at Coastlands Hotel.

“Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma will be present.

“Both former general secretaries will be there to launch a united front of Sanco in the province,” Hlophe said.

Soko said: “Yes, it is true that there is a national interim co-ordinating committee (NICC).

“Cde (comrade) Richard Hlophe is convener and Mike Soko is indeed co-ordinator of the NICC.”

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