Besieged: Leader Angie Motshekga says the Womens League has no problems. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

GCWALISILE KHANYILE

THE ANC Women’s League – led by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga – is in disarray and its provincial structures have collapsed amid divisions and infighting.

Its most senior national structure between conferences – the National Executive Committee (NEC) – could not meet and non-members were allegedly roped in to make up the numbers.

The league has twice postponed its National General Council (NGC), a crucial gathering to review its programmes between conferences. One NEC member, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of being marginalised, said the failure to hold an NGC was due to the collapse of provincial structures.

“The problem emanates from bad leadership and back-stabbing,” she said.

She told The Sunday Independent the league’s NEC had not been able to make up a quorum for the whole of last year.

Last weekend the league had an extended NEC meeting “in order to allow us to bring in members who are not part of the NEC, just for quoration (sic) purposes”.

Another senior league leader – who also asked not to be identified – confirmed that members stayed away from meetings and that there were factional tendencies, including the sidelining of rivals.

Three league leaders from different provinces independently confirmed that the league was dysfunctional.

However, Motshekga said: “I will not be drawn into commenting on rumours and gossip, because they are neither here nor there. People who have issues must raise them through the proper channels.

“Only then will I be able to comment.”

She said the postponement of the NGC meeting was not due to the collapse of provincial structures. She later changed her statement and said: “We have not set the date for an NGC and there hasn’t been any postponement.”

Motshekga said it was news to her that women didn’t want the league.

“We have had NEC meetings. If your sources say we have not quorated for the whole of 2011, how else were we going to have those meetings?

“At some stage in the beginning of the meetings we did not quorate, but by the end of the meeting we normally quorate,” Motshekga said.

Members from provincial offices who spoke on condition of anonymity told The Sunday Independent they had received calls from the national office instructing them not to divulge internal problems to this newspaper.

The Sunday Independent spoke to league leaders from Mpumalanga, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. Some denied there were problems in the organisation but others privately confirmed the league was in a bad state.

The league in Gauteng has accused the national leadership of incompetence, tampering with audit reports and running the organisation like a spaza shop.