Bring it on‚ ANC Northern Cape chair tells disgruntled members

Picture credit: Alaister Russell.
Picture credit: Alaister Russell.

ANC Northern Cape Chairman Zamani Saul has dared disgruntled members hell-bent on disrupting the work of the new leadership to bring it on.

But Saul warned that the freshly elected provincial executive committee (PEC) would fight back against the destructive tendencies of members he labelled as “mourners”.

Saul was delivering his political overview to delegates at the special provincial general council (PGC)‚ made up of branches‚ on Saturday in Kimberley.

He said mourners belonged to a group that had lost during last month’s provincial elective conference‚ where Saul was elected unopposed on a slate that went head-to-head with that led by former treasurer and current premier Sylvia Lucas‚ as well as former deputy secretary Alvin Botes.

Lucas had been vying for the chairmanship of the province while Botes had hoped to be elected secretary. They both declined nomination when it became evident that they would lose.

Lucas subsequently informed the media that she would refer the conference outcomes to the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC)‚ citing various irregularities.

Saul said he had observed that‚ following the conference‚ three groups had emerged – the mourners‚ triumphalists and builders – with the first two representing problems for the party.

Saul said mourners “derive their strengths from a false belief that some post-conference miracle will happen that will lead to the nullification of the provincial conference and consequently the dissolution of this PEC”‚ saying based on this belief “they want to weaken this PEC and the ANC in the province”.

He also cautioned the triumphalists whom he said “seek to marginalise and undermine those who had a different leadership preference”.

Saul instead urged ANC members in the province to be like the builders – those who had accepted conference outcomes and worked to build the party.

“As the PEC we have a message to each of these categories of comrades. To the mourners‚ we want to say that the time for mourning is over; we must pick up the pieces and start the work of building our movement. But for those who feel that they want to fight and discredit this PEC‚ we welcome that invitation.

 “This PEC has adequate capacity to defend itself and the ANC in the province. To the triumphalists‚ we want to say that the time for self-adulation and over-excitement is over‚ the work of building the movement have started. To the builders‚ we want to say that you are our partners and you constitute the foundation and cornerstone of our work to build a strong‚ vibrant and dynamic movement in the province. So comrades‚ we call on everyone inside here to be builders‚ let us stop mourning and let us stop being over-excited‚” said Saul.

The new provincial executive has officially endorsed Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa as the next ANC president while Lucas and Botes were seen as backers of his opponent‚ Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma‚ who has been endorsed by sections of the ANC in Free State as well as the women’s and youth leagues.

Ramaphosa is expected to receive support from Gauteng as well as some sections of KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape.