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Strife in ANC ranks of concern to leadership in the run-up to party’s vital regional and provincial conferences

Picture:Dumisani Dube/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Picture:Dumisani Dube/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published Mar 26, 2022

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Johannesburg - The ANC faces a mammoth task of ensuring its branch general meetings throughout the country leading up to the regional and provincial conferences are held under peaceful circumstances amid fierce factional battles for leadership positions.

The easing of tensions between rival factions are expected to top the agenda at the ANC’s national executive committee meeting which kicked off on Friday. Reports have emerged of violent confrontations and tensions in some parts of the country, including Gauteng.

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In the North West, several ANC members, believed to be supporters of former premier Supra Mahumapelo, staged a number of protests at the party’s provincial headquarters. They challenged the legitimacy of the inter-provincial committee under Hlomane Chauke.

Similar unhappiness was indicated in KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga. Some of the former ANC members in Mpumalanga also threatened to take the party to court – but acting provincial secretary Lindiwe Ntshalintshali warned them about the consequence of their actions.

In Gauteng, an ANC activist believed to be a staunch supporter of a campaign to elect Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi as the next party chairperson in Gauteng, is fighting for his life in hospital after he was shot in Hammanskraal on March 13.

The activist, identified as Jabu Sibanyoni, was spotted on the same Sunday among people who attended a rally to bolster Lesufi’s campaign at Mbolekwa Sports Complex in Atteridgeville.

Lesufi is expected to go head-to-head with his human settlements, urban planning and co-operative governance and traditional affairs colleague Lebogang Maile. His campaign, known as Adiwele, after the amapiano hit track, was launched in Hammanskraal three weeks ago.

The shooting incident happened just a week before the SACP in Gauteng warned its counterpart about rising factional battles within its ranks.

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SACP provincial deputy secretary Sekete Moshoeshoe said his his party had noted that while maximum unity was necessary and required across the revolutionary alliance to face these sets of clear challenges, the divisive demons of factionalism and the slate politics were already in full swing as the ANC prepares for its provincial conferences, particularly in Gauteng.

Moshoeshoe said media platforms and social media were awash with factional “road-shows and slate branding that could only deepen confusion within the working class and the revolutionary people”.

“Unrefuted media reports highlight two main factions at a provincial level, while there are many other countless factional brands at a regional level.

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“While the SACP does not intend to enter factional battles of the ANC, we have a revolutionary duty and responsibility to thoroughly analyse and fully comprehend the political and ideological tendency these factions represent and their implications for the national democratic revolution (NDR) and the unity of the alliance.

“One such factional brand is formally and proudly tagging itself ’Adiwele’,” Moshoeshoe said

He said the other grouping, known as “Renewal”, purported to be upporting Lesufi.

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