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ANC Ekurhuleni conference to go ahead despite unresolved disputes

Mzwandile Masina. Picture: Rosetta Msimango

Mzwandile Masina. Picture: Rosetta Msimango

Published May 26, 2022

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Johannesburg - The ANC Ekurhuleni is scheduled to hold its regional conference this weekend despite the unresolved disputes.

This was after five branches lodged disputes with the ANC's provincial dispute resolution committee.

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The branches have accused regional secretary Thembinkosi 'TK' Nciza and regional chairperson Mzwandile Masina of manipulating branch qualification guidelines to exclude them from the conference.

Ward 40 chairperson Dumisani Ntuli has also accused the head of campaigns and mass mobilisation Nomvula Mokonyane of working with Nciza and Masina to manipulate the numbers and branches allegedly. He said about six branches were manipulated and demanded the ANC provincial office should run the conference for fair outcomes.

"Masina is contesting at a regional level and he is working with Nciza to work on these numbers, with the help of Mokonyane. They want to do this because they can see that we are winning," said Ntuli. So far the conference has been postponed three times.

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"They are the ones who have been postponing, and the conference has been postponed three times already. This is because they still want to work the numbers. We don't have a problem going to the conference this weekend, but it was supposed to be in Benoni, and now they are taking it to Fourways to disadvantage Doctor Xhakaza." Masina is expected to be challenged by former Ekurhuleni member of the mayoral committee for finance and economic development Xhakaza for the position of regional chairperson. Ntuli said targeted branches are wards 2, 40, 50, 99 and 108. However, Nciza said the allegations were madness, adding that the Ekurhuleni regional conference has previously been in various areas.

"The past three conferences – 2011, 2014 and 2018 – were all in Saint George Hotel in Pretoria. It is not about Masina and Nciza, the regional executive committee decided to take the conference in Indaba Hotel (Fourways), and the provincial executive committee (PEC) approved," he explained.

Nciza said this was a contest, and people were expected to express their feelings and frustrations.

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"But what we must try to do is to get out of the conference as a united organisation. There are always accusations and people always want to say who has done what and whatnot. And I don't want to dwell much on numbers, and all I am saying is that we are going to the conference hoping that it will be successful," he added. In a letter addressed to Gauteng deputy secretary Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko earlier this month, Mokonyane said the party had found transgressions of system guidelines for Wards 2, 40, 50, 99 and 108. As a result, ward 108 was disqualified from going ahead with the election of its branch executive committee and did not do so. Attempts to resolve the disputes in the ward have been ongoing since last week. In another letter addressed to the secretary-general's office, Mokonyane and provincial secretary Jacob Khawe, on May 14, Ward 2's Andrew Mapheto called for an investigation into possible colluding and manipulation of "democratic process's by Mokonyane and Masina".

"We now learned that the branch had to be re-verified on the grounds better understood by the regional secretary. The branch wants to register an objection to this new report on the basis that we are not invited in this process. We equally view this report as a manipulation of the guidelines. There's nowhere in the guidelines that the regional secretary can object or verify the BBGMs (branch biennial general meetings). Lastly, not all branches in the region did re-verification in our branch and provincially," the ward 2 branch complained. Incumbent Nciza will square off against Nokuthula Xaba, a leader of the ANC Women's League in Ekurhuleni, for regional secretary. Another Masina ally, current regional deputy chairperson and chief whip Jongizizwe Dlabathi will be challenged by former regional secretary and ANC MP Teliswa Mgweba. In Masina's camp, ANC Youth League Ekurhuleni regional task team member and former SA Students Congress secretary-general Moipone Mhlongo will face off with Andile Mngwevu, formerly ANCYL Ekurhuleni regional chairperson, for the deputy regional secretary position. The battle for regional treasurer will be between Sello Sekhokho, in Masina's slate, and ANC Bavumile Vilakazi zonal chairperson Abasalom Budeli, a businessman and ANC member in Ekurhuleni who once challenged for the position of ANCYL provincial chairperson. Khawe said they had noted the branches that have raised the disputes. He is waiting for the two reports from the national dispute resolution committee and regional conference task team, which held the meeting on Wednesday.

"But we did, as PEC, acknowledge that the region is ready in terms of the 70% threshold, venue and they were also mandated to sort out the issue of Covid-19 compliance. And then we said all the disputes must be resolved. We planned along those lines, but the two reports will confirm and we will talk after all," he told the Sunday Independent. Mokonyane, Xhakaza and Masina were not available for comments.

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