Crack opens as Lekota followers are suspended in Western Cape

UNDER ATTACK: Mosiuoa Lekota. Pic. Veli Nhlapo. 08/10/2008. © Sowetan
UNDER ATTACK: Mosiuoa Lekota. Pic. Veli Nhlapo. 08/10/2008. © Sowetan

Anna Majavu

Anna Majavu

The Western Cape ANC provincial executive committee has followed in the steps of Luthuli House - suspending five followers of now suspended former ANC national chairman Mosioua Lekota, who is leading an initiative to form a breakaway party.

The five are former ANC Cape Town regional secretary and councillor Mbulelo Ncedane, former West Coast leader and councillor Onel de Beer, axed Boland regional chairman and councillor Mogamat Majiet and Cape Town councillors Ebrahim Sawant and Brian Heber.

The Western Cape PEC accuse the five of using ANC resources to organise a new party.

"They cannot be allowed to use ANC resources to destroy the ANC," said Western Cape provincial chairman Mcebisi Skwatsha.

Skwatsha did not rule out suspending more of the 81 councillors who appear to support Lekota.

On Monday the ANC national office suspended Lekota and his former deputy, Mluleki Goerge.

The party accused the two of using its structures to "undermine and betray the organisation".

The two now face disciplinary action by the party.

Their suspension followed last week's announcement by Lekota that they were "serving divorce papers" on the ANC.

Lekota also indicated that he was exploring the possibility of launching a new party to challenge the ANC in the 2009 national elections.

Yesterday Skwatsha also claimed that one of the "ringleaders" had tried to use ANC funds to hire 70 buses to ferry members to last Saturday's Langa rally.

The suspended councilors have condemned the move as a political "witch-hunt".

Last month the five convened a "parallel" provincial conference after claiming that the official ANC conference was fraudulently designed to exclude opponents of Mcebisi Skwatsha, who was later elected as provincial chairman.

l In KwaZulu-Natal 130 ANC members have defected to the IFP. The group, from Newlands West, accused the local ANC councillor of doing nothing significant for the community.