ANC probes secret meetings
THE ANC in Gauteng is investigating allegations that senior party members are convening secret meetings to discuss leadership changes ahead of the Mangaung Conference later this year.
The party's provincial secretary, David Makhura, said complaints had been received from the regions that "they have been called to attend the secret caucuses convened by some of the national leadership".
"We will take action ... the idea of secret caucuses is wrong. The ANC is not an underground organisation, it is leading a democracy," Makhura said in Johannesburg after a provincial executive committee meeting held at the weekend.
"The PEC maintains the view that the assessment of the organisation and leadership performance should take place within the structure of the organisation, not in secret caucuses," Makhura said, adding that such caucuses undermined the principal role of the ANC structures.
He refused to reveal the names of the NEC members allegedly spear-heading these secret caucuses, but warned that no member in Gauteng would be influenced to attend them.
"At this stage we will not make any accusations against any branch member or NEC member before investigations are concluded."
The Sunday Times reported that Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, Public Enterprise Minister Malusi Gigaba, Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi and uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association leader Kebby Maphatsoe had held "secret" meetings with branch leaders in Soweto, on the West Rand and in Kempton Park in Ekurhuleni.
All of them, believed to be aligned to President Jacob Zuma, have denied the allegations.
Makhura called on all ANC members to respect the NEC's decision to only start the nomination process in October. The national elective conference takes place in December in Mangaung, Free State.
In one of its draft policy documents, discussed in some regions, the ruling party bemoans "new tendencies" as a result of which leadership elections are fraught with problems like the suppression of others' views.
It states that some views are forced down the throats of members in chaotic branch general meetings. This discussion will take place at the policy conference in June.
Makhura said Gauteng was still busy assessing the current leadership elected at the 2007 Polokwane conference. But he emphasised that no names have been mentioned.
Makhura denied that some Gauteng branches want the leadership discussion debate to be opened sooner. No structure would be allowed to do so without being called to order. - firstname.lastname@example.org