Pretoria - At least three ANC regional conferences in the Gauteng metros of Joburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni were forced to put their regional conferences on hold this weekend following internal fights about the nomination of delegates at their disputed branch general meetings.
Sedibeng and Ekurhuleni met this week to determine whether they were ready to hold their regional conferences this week, but party insiders in both regions have cast doubts.
The Joburg regional conference, like the three others, including Tshwane, were supposed to be held last weekend, but the involvement of one of their main candidates, the late Mpho Moerane, in a fatal crash on May 2, also added to the party’s decision to postpone the conference to this weekend.
Yesterday, however, ANC Joburg spokesperson Sasabona Manganye said the party held its regional task team on Tuesday to consider the report from the Conference Preparation Committee, which gave the green light regarding conference logistics, and equally reflected on the life and activism of Moerane, following his untimely demise.
Moerane’s family officially confirmed his death last Wednesday after media reports, which irked the family, that said he had actually died three days before.
Moerane, who was due to contest the ANC’s regional secretary with Dada Morero, was buried on Sunday at a colourful and politically charged funeral service at his birthplace of Alexandra, north of Joburg.
Party insiders have indicated that two other candidates, acting chairperson Eunice Mgcina and deputy secretary Loyiso Masuku were likely to put on their caps for the chairperson position.
Mgcina became acting chairperson following the death of former mayor and ANC regional chairperson Geoff Makhubo, who succumbed to a Covid-19 related illness in July last year.
The ANC was plagued by another leadership crisis when another mayor Jolidee Matongo – who was also in the regional leadership – died in a car crash in September last year.
Due to his death, Moerane stepped in as mayor in October until the national local government elections on November 2, where the DA’s Dr Mpho Phalatse took over after a coalition of opposition parties. The ANC was reduced to the main opposition, with Moerane as the caucus leader until his death.
Gauteng ANC secretary Jacob Khawe confirmed that the provincial leadership has endorsed the postponement of the Joburg regional conference, saying it was to allow its members to mourn the passing of Moerane, and to also resolve internal disputes.
Last night Khawe confirmed that the Tshwane conference was also postponed to allow them to resolve disputes, but was adamant that Sedibeng and Ekurhuleni would go ahead.
In Ekurhuleni, however, party insiders said more than 20 branches have lodged disputes with the provincial dispute resolution committee, and some of these branches were expected to march to the regional offices in Germiston today to demand a speedy resolution of their disputes.
“We are not ready. There is no final venue for the conference. Initially, the conference was supposed to be held at The Lake in Benoni. Others suggested Indaba Hotel in Fourways, while others wanted Birchwood in Boksburg. The disputes have also worsened the situation. I do think the meeting today (last night) will be able to finalise on these issues before conference,” one of the insiders said.
Last night Khawe also said that the Gauteng PEC would meet today to decide on a new date for its provincial conference.