Picture: Phill Magakoe/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - Just a week after a dismal performance at the election polls, the ANC in the Western Cape seems to be crumbling in its mission for unity.

This follows a spate of conflicting reports from within the party over the suspension of provincial treasurer Maurencia Gillion, the sacking of the head of communications and allegations of fraud with regard to election campaign funds in the Boland region.

The party limped out of the May 8 elections with just 28% of the votes in the province.

A marathon, 10-hour provincial executive committee meeting reportedly descended into chaos on Friday with conflicting reports that the acting chairperson, Khaya Magaxa, angrily abandoned the meeting, and others stating that he closed the meeting and that any resolutions taken afterwards were not binding.

At the core of the conflict were the following:

Overturning of the decision by the provincial working committee (PWC) to suspend Gillion for the distribution of a R1m donation despite instructions not to do so.

The PEC again postponing its provincial elective conference scheduled to take place on June 30 to the end of September to replace Marius Fransman.

PEC member and head of communications Lionel Aderndorf being sacked after the meeting.

Aderndof said the meeting was closed by Magaxa and therefore called into question the decisions taken thereafter.

“During this particular meeting that I attended, the matters raised in subsequent statements were not discussed and decisions presented in these statements were not taken,” he said.

ANC spokesperson Dennis Cruywagen denied this, stating after Magaxa and seven others left, the meeting could still quorate and continued without the chairperson.

He said the PEC was well within its rights to overturn the PWC decision in favour of seeking a legal opinion and an audit of all the ANC’s finances.

While provincial leaders squabbled over who should take responsibility for the mishaps, leaders from the Boland region also wrote to the party asking that three of the members of the regional task team be investigated for fraudulent activity over election funds.

The letter, seen by Weekend Argus, was co-authored by regional rlection co-ordinator Clarence Johnson and elections manager Jonton Snyman.

The two allege the R250 000 transferred to the region for campaigns on April 15 and May 7 was taken following four withdrawals amounting to R290000 over eight days.

“It is our submission that these funds were withdrawn fraudulently and never reached the intended structures and hence (the) call for a DC investigation against the individuals allegedly implicated in these actions,” read the letter.

Analyst Dr Bhekithemba Mngomezulu said in the same way that the party’s national structures were not in agreement, factions were still deep-rooted in the Western Cape.

“How the party fares going forward will depend on what happens between now and 2020. The ANC still has the chance to redeem themselves but as for the Western Cape I don’t see them winning. You can’t move from 28% to take over the province, or the local government elections. They must just make peace with it.”

Weekend Argus