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DURBAN - DESPITE disgruntled ANC members in five of KwaZulu-Natal’s 11 regions threatening to contest the outcome of the upcoming provincial conference, it will go ahead.

This is according to ANC national executive committee member Edna Molewa, who has been deployed to oversee the provincial task team (PTT). She said the conference would be held from May 31-June 2.

The PTT was convened in the wake of the ANC’s elective conference in December, in a bid to unite the two factions in the province, which have been at loggerheads since the provincial conference in 2015, which was last year ruled as unlawful by the high court.

Molewa said that their preparations were all in order and that the provincial conference did not depend on the regional conferences.

“The branches, in all the regions, have long been ready and they’ve gone through their BGMs (branch general meetings). They’ve gone through their preparatory stages, audits and verification. What is left is for them to be verified for the provincial conference,” said Molewa.

Mike Mabuyakhulu, ANC provincial convener, however, painted a different picture, saying the provincial conference would be determined when the regional conferences convene, with some underway this weekend.

“We will be ready as soon as we’re done with them and the logistics because we can’t have a provincial conference without completing the regional conferences,” Mabuyakhulu said.

Last week, members from eThekwini, Moses Mabhida, Lower South Coast, Harry Gwala and Abaqulusi regions, who claim to have been excluded from branch processes in preparation for regional conferences, said they had lost confidence in him.

The five branches criticised Mabuyakhulu’s performance in the PTT.

Mabuyakhulu, speaking to Independent Media yesterday, said people were free to express their views.

“We can only do so if all of us are working in earnest and seriously for the unity of the ANC. To do that is not going to be an easy thing, it’s going to require all of us to take unity of the ANC seriously and work, unite and build an inclusive process including all ANC members,” he said.

He acknowledged that there were issues that had been raised by the branches.

Political analyst Thabani Khumalo said the decision by the NEC to say that the province was ready to hold free and fair regional and provincial conferences was the “worst possible decision” taken by the top leadership because the province was not ready to convene the conferences.

“What is happening in KwaZulu-Natal can be described as organised chaos. The province needed a decisive response and plan of action by the national leadership to turn around the situation.

“It’s the only province where there are funerals every weekend because of the political conflict within the ANC.

“The NEC should have dissolved all the structures in the province and have neutral structures come in and clean up the province,” he said.

Khumalo said that should the conference go ahead as scheduled it would be challenged in court and that the province was likely to face more political conflict and killings.

SUNDAY TRIBUNE