Pretoria - ANC Limpopo secretary Soviet Lekganyane has locked horns with an influential party region in the province, accusing it of having held its regional conference in December last year irregularly.
According to him, the Peter Mokaba conference was “bogus” because as provincial secretary he was not part of the preparations.
Lekganyane said he had not received a verification report from the regional conference.
The executive of the Peter Mokaba region, led by Polokwane mayor John Mpe, was re-elected at the conference.
It is backing premier and provincial chairperson Stan Mathabatha’s slate ahead of the provincial conference expected to take place during the first week of next month.
Lekganyane, who has largely spoken out against corruption in the province, especially against the VBS scandal that has implicated provincial treasurer Danny Msiza, is seeking re-election as provincial secretary as part of the faction opposing Mathabatha and led by Public Works MEC Dickson Masemola. The MEC is challenging Mathabatha.
Msiza, meanwhile, has since “stepped aside” after being charged in connection with the looting of the bank.
Speaking to the Pretoria News yesterday, Lekganyane said prior to the regional conference’s sitting he had known nothing of it.
He said: “My office was involved with the preparations of all the other regions.
“The truth of the matter is that just yesterday (Wednesday) a provincial dispute resolution committee, led by Transport MEC Mavhungu Lerule-Ramakhanya, was listening to disputes from Peter Mokaba pertaining to the regional conference.”
He said the region sat without having resolved some disputes that were brought up by some branches.
“In the ANC when you prepare for a conference, the disputes are resolved before the conference sits. So, as to how the conference sat without disputes having been resolved cannot be explained by the provincial secretary.
“If you have a bogus conference, you are going to have sleepless nights because now we are going to a provincial conference with some branches that have not resolved their issues.
“For example, ward 23 in Polokwane was given a verdict that the branch wouldn’t be participating in the regional conference because they held their meeting after the cut-off date and in the case of ward 17, they will not be allocated voting status at the regional conference, but the branch was there at the conference despite that verdict.
“How does a branch that does not have a voting status participate fully?”
Lekganyane added: “We are now going to the provincial conference and I will never be a secretary convener of a bogus conference where there are disputes. All disputes have to be attended to before the conference sits.
”We won’t allow a region that would have the potential to spoil our conference. If there are things that must be corrected they should be done before the provincial conference.”
Peter Mokaba Region spokesperson Jimmy Machaka, responding to questions from the Pretoria News, dismissed Lekganyane’s assertions.
He said: “Any suggestion that the regional conference was not held properly is malicious and disingenuous, because if that was the case why did he (Lekganyane), the regional chairperson and the secretary, sit in PEC meetings?
“We surpassed the 70% threshold that was signed off by the national secretary-general. From where we are seated we held a successful regional conference and so far out of all our branches, 98% have no disputes.”
Lekganyane dismissed claims that he was seeking a court intervention to disband the region.
“It’s not about court action but internal processes of the ANC. I’m not a clerk of the ANC. I’m an elected leader of the ANC and would never convene a bogus conference. I won’t agree to that. I would never agree to a conference where there are people who are not supposed to participate.
“People want to steal from the ANC and when you speak against it they say you want to take them to court.
“I have never taken the ANC to court since I joined the party. I have accepted the decisions of the ANC. I don’t even have a cent. The ANC has been unable to pay my salary since March last year. Where would I get money to take them to court? I can’t even put petrol in my car,” he said.