Convention will gauge support of Shikota side

Eric Naki

Eric Naki

Shikota's national convention this weekend is set to serve as a barometer of the support for the ANC breakaway group and to identify the leaders who will leave the ruling party.

Organisers - former ANC national chairman Mosiuoa Lekota and former Gauteng premier Mbhazima Shilowa - say they expect at least 4000 to attend the convention .

It will be held at the Sandton Convention Centre from tomorrow until Sunday and is expected to adopt proposals that will form the basis of the policy of the new political party.

It will be launched in Bloemfontein on December 16.

This week Shilowa, who is the convention's volunteer-in-chief, said the convention would discuss introducing an electoral system that includes a directly elected president of state, premiers and executive mayors.

This will mean scrutinising the Slabbert Commission report that proposed mixed proportional and constituency systems.

The Slabbert report is gathering dust in government offices after its findings and recommendations were ignored.

Shilowa said economic growth, crime and corruption would be on the agenda too.

They will also deal with the strengthening of democratic institutions, separation of the party from the state and ensure a clear separation of powers between the executive, legislature and judiciary.

Indications are that some former cabinet ministers who served under former president Thabo Mbeki will attend, as will disgruntled premiers, MECs and alliance members who were sidelined by the new ANC leadership.

Former NEC member Charlotte Lobe and Western Cape safety and security MEC Leonard Ramatlakane have already joined Lekota's initiative.

The national spokesman for the breakaway group, Mbulelo Ncedana, said they had invited all political parties, including the ANC. He said the Democratic Alliance has confirmed that it will attend.

Representatives from sports codes, churches, business, youth and women's groups, NGOs, struggle veterans and individuals are also expected.