ANC branches blast leaders

Vuyolwethu Sangotsha

Vuyolwethu Sangotsha

ANC branches in the Eastern Cape have accused the party's provincial executive committee (PEC) of forcing down their throats the campaign to give President Thabo Mbeki a third term.

These branches claimed they were not invited to attend the ANC provincial general council (PGC) held at the East London City Hall on Saturday. Divisions between the PEC and certain branches were clear during the gathering when some branches accused the provincial secretary, Siphatho Handi, of spearheading the pro-Mbeki campaign in the province.

"All the PEC wants is to manipulate the process of choosing these leaders for the national conference. They decided to sideline us since we don't support the idea of giving President Mbeki a third term," said a furious branch chairman who refused to be named.

However, Handi disputed the allegations. He said the issue of succession was not on the agenda. He said the PGC held over the weekend focused on policies.

"The branches will make their nominations from October. The nominations will be consolidated in a PGC to be held in November," Handi added.

Addressing ANC members from various structures, NEC member and head of policy in the Presidency, Joel Netshitenze, warned the Eastern Cape ANC branches that they should not expect favours in turn when they elect candidates for leadership positions within the party.