ANC branches struggling to form quorums

       Gauteng ANC chairman Paul Mashatile 
      PHOTO: Puxley Makgatho
AHEAD: Gauteng ANC chairman Paul Mashatile PHOTO: Puxley Makgatho

THE ANC's Gauteng leadership will intervene in branches of which meetings have on a several occasions failed to quorate. This comes amid fears that lobby groups are using the opportunity to influence members.

A number of Gauteng branches were struggling to attract enough members for branch general meetings, with fingers being pointed at a lack of transport. This further delays a crucial process that could see them being excluded from sending delegates to the electoral congress in December.

The nominations process for the leadership contests in Mangaung, Free State, will be closed at the end of next month, with the provincial leaders giving assurance that all problems will have been resolved by then.

Sowetan understands that what caused confusion, as with some branches in Alexandra, was an overlapping of membership between the ANC and National Freedom Party.

Out of about four branches that sat in the area this weekend, only two quorated - both of which nominated Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe - including that of provincial chairman Paul Mashatile.

Two others, including that of Deputy Minister in the Presidency Obed Bapela and ANCYL Gauteng chairman Lebogang Maile, had problems drawing enough members to form a quorum.

ANC provincial spokesman Nkeke Kekana said a high-powered leadership will be deployed to address problems in some branches.

Other issues were that of security and the long wait that leads to members abandoning meetings and going back home.

He said the intervention was to ensure that branches did not find themselves at the mercy of lobby groups who pounce at every opportunity to buy votes.

"When meetings don't quorate these lobby groups hire cars for members to serve their own interests.

"Part of the intervention will include the provision of transport, particularly as some meetings take place in the evenings," Kekana said.

The province has had to attend to bitter squabbles, mainly in Ekurhuleni where some branch general meetings outcomes are being contested and fingers being pointed at regional leaders for foul play.

The leadership of ward 46 in Ekurhuleni has since launched grievances about meetings being hijacked and rigged by those who supported President Jacob Zuma.

There were also complaints of intimidation, the forging of quorums and criminals causing chaos at meetings. -