Backers of new party might be expelled

Anna Majavu and Eric Naki

Anna Majavu and Eric Naki

The ANC and its alliance partners are moving to expel all its councillors and leaders who openly support former defence minister Mosiuoa Lekota's plans to form a new party.

First on the hit list are the 81 Cape Town ANC councillors who not only supported Lekota's first public rally in Langa on Saturday, but organised the event and spoke from the podium about ANC branches' desire to "move on" from the ANC.

ANC Western Cape provincial secretary Sipho Kroma said a press conference would announce today what the ANC planned to do about the Lekota councillors.

The councillors are rumoured to be planning, if expelled, to contest by-elections in Cape Town under the banner of the new party.

Eastern Cape alliance structures have also decided to expel Lekota supporters.

SA Communist Party Mbuyiselo Gwende (Port Elizabeth) branch chairman Zukile Jodwana told Sowetan yesterday that "the ANC is going to remove them from their positions".

"All those that have chosen to go to Lekota meetings, all those that have been seen participating in these gatherings must consider themselves no longer members of the ANC and the alliance components. They forfeit also their deployment, including if they are councillors because we don't want them to use state resources to forward the aims of the new party," Jodwana said.

ANC national spokesman Steyn Speed would not confirm the mooted mass expulsions.

lIn Eastern Cape, the ANC Youth League is expected to announce the expulsion of the league's members who expressed their support for Lekota.

They said they supported Lekota's call for a national convention .