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ANC committee to resolve councillor candidate disputes

The ANC’s electoral committee, led by the party’s former deputy president, Kgalema Motlanthe, is working behind the scenes to resolve disputes resulting from the councillor candidate nominations ahead of the recent local government elections.

The committee has vowed to institute internal disciplinary processes where there is evidence of the unprocedural manipulation of the selection process in favour of some individuals. If this is found to be the case, some councillors will have to resign, warranting by-elections.

The ANC aims to resolve the issue speedily in the wards the party won. However, if the lists and the electoral committees find that the community’s choice of candidate was not an ANC nominee or that the process was deliberately undermined, then a rerun would definitely be on the cards.

This is according to a document dated November 4, which City Press has seen, regarding the scenario planning and directives for the resolution of outstanding disputes.A new nomination process that may lead to a by-election will only be ordered as the last resort if sufficient grounds are found that manipulation or undermining of the process led to a materially different outcome, where the first choice of the community was not nominated.

“This will take place after the investigation and dispute resolution processes are completed, where the branch general meetings (BGM) and community meetings and vote should have resulted in a different ward candidate being nominated, otherwise the elected councillor remains in place.

“If the current ward councillor is subject to a disciplinary committee process, that process should be completed before a by-election is triggered.

“All other members implicated in the removal of candidates nominated by the communities shall be investigated and the secretary-general’s office and disciplinary committee will oversee the dispute resolution or disciplinary proceedings that may result,” the document reads. The party’s candidate nominations were marred by allegations of tampering and incidents of parallel BGMs, community meetings and factional divisions.

In some instances, no BGMs and community meetings were held due to disruptions, divisions and inefficiencies. In other cases, lists approved by the extended provincial executive committees and the national executive committee were allegedly manipulated.

Motlanthe’s committee has requested that all provincial list committees compile the names of the disputes reported by the party or community members as the process of investigation and consultation has started.

All disputes were supposed to be submitted by Thursday. A virtual meeting with all provincial list committees, and regional and provincial secretaries will be held on Tuesday to discuss the matter.

An invitation, dated November 8 and signed by Motlanthe, has been sent out to all stakeholders involved, with a stern appeal to attend the meeting.

The letter reads: Please note that this meeting is extremely important and be prepared to report extensively on dispute resolution regarding the candidate selection process.The meeting will include an address by ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte and Motlanthe.

The compilation of the ANC’s election lists always causes tension because, for thousands of ANC loyalists, being a councillor is the only hope of a fixed income.

The process has led to a spate of political assassinations. In the run up to the November 1 polls, at least 11 people from different political parties were killed in eight incidents that were believed to be politically motivated.

In line with established patterns, KwaZulu-Natal was the province with the most killings, followed by the Tshwane region in Gauteng.

In June, five men with unlicensed firearms were arrested in Isipingo, south of Durban. They were allegedly on their way to an ANC branch meeting in Mkhambathini, near Pietermaritzburg.

An ANC member was shot dead in Tshwane during the nomination process after an argument broke out over the candidate list for ward 15 in Nellmapius in Pretoria. Two other people, including branch secretary Matlhaku Mojapelo, were injured in the incident.

In September, a fight broke out at a meeting in Naledi in Vryburg in the North West between ANC members. This led to Matlomola Nthomeletsi, a party member from ward 6, opening a case of assault against ward 8 members Lebogang Jacobs and Modise Morakile.

Some members decided to leave the governing party and branched out on their own. One of them, Tebogo Montsonyane, started a civic organisation which bagged two seats in the Greater Taung region.

–CityPress

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