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Membership disputes threaten ANC conferences

ANC Gauteng and North West conferences, scheduled to take place next weekend, are hanging by a thread, following unresolved branch disputes in several regions.

Unresolved disputes in Ekurhuleni branches include 19 quarantined votes, which could prevent the provincial conference from taking place.

Senior ANC officials, including Jeff Radebe, have been working around the clock in a bid to resolve the disputes.

The votes from six branches were quarantined after the credentials of some voting delegates were disputed at the regional conference held at the Indaba Hotel in Fourways three weeks ago.

Former Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina defeated Doctor Xhakaza by only 12 votes. But the branches whose votes were quarantined lodged a grievance with the national dispute resolution committee (NDRC).

In North West, several branches lodged complaints with the provincial dispute resolution committee (PDRC) after claiming that the regional dispute resolution committee (RDRC) had failed them.

In addressing a group of disgruntled ANC members from the Dr Kenneth Kaunda region on Friday, party spokesperson Pule Mabe said no province was going to hold its conference while there remained unresolved disputes.

Mabe said the ANC was aware that some of the verdicts given by the PDRC were made verbally.

Mabe said: The NDRC has directed the PDRC of the North West to convey the verdict in writing. We even gave them time frames on what should happen. We also said there was no provincial conference that would proceed until such time as all the disputes had been resolved, because the platform of conferences in the ANC must be one that unites all of us

The ANC national executive committee (NEC) made a resolution that it could no longer preside over a self-destructing organisation; one that loses elections even when it has the biggest network of branches on the ground among all the political parties in the country.

“We must satisfy ourselves as the NEC that, by the time you hold each conference, all of your concerns have been attended to,” the committee declared.

According to the disgruntled members in North West, more than 14 branches in the Bojanala region have been ordered to rerun their conferences following successful appeals. In the Dr Kenneth Kaunda region, more than 20 branches have lodged disputes but have not received a verdict.

Another group of disgruntled members marched to Luthuli House on Friday to complain that several branches were not recognised.

In the Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati region, more than 16 branches are still waiting for verdicts.

Bishop Julius Moloi of ward 4 in Matlosana complained about leadership being parachuted into the district. He said local leaders won the election but were disqualified for no reason.

They were told beforehand that, if they did not support and vote for provincial chairperson hopeful Nono Maloi, they were going to be disqualified and their disputes would not be entertained, he alleged.

Moloi said:We were told that our disputes against Maloi would not pass. We want to tell the NEC to take us seriously… We have been sending emails to the RDRC and the PDRC, but they don’t respond

Kagiso Lerefolo from ward 16 in the JB Marks Local Municipality said they wanted the NEC to disband the provincial and regional dispute resolution committees because they were not doing their jobs.

Kgotso Mafisa of Potchefstroom said members were worried that the wrong voting delegates and leadership would represent the majority at the provincial conference despite being illegitimate.

But Mabe assured all the unhappy members that their disputes were being attended to and that they would be resolved before the end of the week, failing which, the conference would have to be postponed.

Apart from the branch disputes, City Press understands that the ANC account in North West was attached by the Sheriff of the Court due to service providers being owed payment since 2016.

A senior official said the account was attached last week, while a number of things needed for the upcoming conference had not been paid for yet.

“Fortunately, the venue, food and other logistics were paid for before the order was made. Only accommodation and other small things such as transport are still to be paid,” said the source.

Mabe said he was not aware that the provincial account had been attached.

–Media24

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