Oscar Mabuyane told to work with rivals

ANC Eastern Cape chairperson Oscar Mabuyane, ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule and Mandla Mandela.
ANC Eastern Cape chairperson Oscar Mabuyane, ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule and Mandla Mandela.
Image: Masi Losi

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule and his deputy Jessie Duarte have come under fire for pushing for the dissolution of the pro-President Cyril Ramaphosa Eastern Cape ANC provincial executive committee (PEC).

Magashule delivered a report to the ANC national executive committee (NEC) meeting, held at the weekend in Cape Town, where he allegedly said the decision to disband the Oscar Mabuyane-led provincial executive committee was agreed to at the last ANC national working committee (NWC) meeting.

According to two sources who were present at the weekend's meeting, Magashule's version of events was disputed by other committee members.

"The secretariat wrote that the Eastern Cape leadership should be dissolved and that was not what the NWC had agreed on," said one source.

"Now, when NWC members objected, the NEC agreed that the leadership should not be disbanded.

"Instead, the leadership was instructed to work together with other factions that complained against them."

The leadership of the ANC in Eastern Cape has been in dispute since a controversial provincial conference late last year which saw Mabuyane defeat premier Phumulo Masualle as provincial chairman.

At the time of the conference, Mabuyane and his supporters were openly campaigning for Ramaphosa to be ANC president while those who backed Masualle also tended to be sympathetic to then president Jacob Zuma.

Late last year, the ANC appointed a team headed by former KwaZulu-Natal premier Sbu Ndebele to probe the dispute between the two factions.

At the weekend, the NEC, according to a source, rejected the Ndebele report on the grounds that it inaccurately stated that delegates to the disputed conference had not adopted membership credentials before the start of the conference, when actually they did.

Instead of disbanding the PEC, the NEC at the weekend ordered Mabuyane and his team to work closely with their rivals in rebuilding the party in the province. It also ruled that, while the ANC in the province can bring about changes in the provincial government, it cannot remove Masualle as premier.

Meanwhile, the NEC has called on the Independent Electoral Commission to take charge of voter education ahead of next year's polls.

The NEC said this was in line with the constitution as the responsibility cannot be left to political parties.

"The IEC left voter education to political parties. The IEC must take that responsibility and it must have a budget to reach all South Africans.

"Political parties are selective in who they reach out to. IEC will speak to everyone."

ANC Women's League president Bathabile Dlamini told the meeting she was happy that there were four women premiers in the country following the recent appointment of two women in Free State and Mpumalanga.

She said these premiers should continue continue beyond 2019, depending on their performance.

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