Pro-Ramaphosa supporters in KZN call for end to infighting
Disgruntled pro-President Cyril Ramaphosa supporters in KwaZulu-Natal have called for the disbandment of the provincial interim committee (PIC) and for the provincial elective conference to be postponed until after the national elections next year.
They have accused the interim structure which replaced the provincial executive committee (PEC) which was suspended by the ANC’s national executive committee in January of being factional and not supporting Ramaphosa but of supporting former president Jacob Zuma.
The PEC supported Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma for ANC president during the party’s 54th national elective conference in Johannesburg in December but she lost to Ramaphosa who had sizeable support among ANC supporters in the province.
The party’s leadership in the province has been on rocky ground‚ with a court challenge by a group of “rebels” having successfully nullified the elective process which saw the installation of the provincial executive committee in 2016.
The group sought to nullify the legitimacy of ANC provincial secretary Super Zuma‚ provincial chairperson Sihle ZIkala as well as 38 other ANC leaders following the controversial PEC in November 2015.
In January‚ following the court ruling‚ ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule formally suspended the KZN executive and replaced them with an interim structure‚ convened by former KZN economic development and tourism MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu and coordinated by his predecessor and former ANC provincial chairman‚ Sihle Zikalala.
Now with the term of the PIC coming to an end next week‚ Ramaphosa’s supporters in the province have questioned whether the interim structure still has any authority to convene a regional or provincial conference.
Last week the ANC’s provincial elective conference was postponed indefinitely due to unforeseen circumstances.
The conference‚ which was supposed to have been held between March and April‚ had become necessary after a Pietermaritzburg High Court judgment nullified the contested 2015 provincial elective conference after a challenge by the so-called ANC rebels.
Pro-Ramaphosa supporters gathered at the South Beach Amphitheatre in Durban on Monday to call for an intervention of the ANC’s national working committee (NWC) and PIC to resolve gatekeeping‚ manipulation of processes and factionalism within the organisation.
Ramaphosa T-shirts were also distributed to a group of about 300 ANC supporters who attended the meeting.
Sthembiso Mshengu‚ a former ANCYL leader who was prominent in the Ramaphosa campaign‚ said it's only the ANC NEC that can make a decision on what will happen when the PIC’s term expires next week.
“That remains the area for the NEC to decide given the fact that the PEC was suspended and PIC was installed and which we believe that next week comes to an end‚ and therefore it’s going to be a constitutional issue whether the PIC still has authority to convene a provincial or regional conference.
“But as things stand right now‚ it will be an injustice to convene a provincial or regional conference given the amount of gatekeeping that has been taking place in the ANC in eThekwini in particular but broadly throughout the province.”
ANC ward 66 branch chairperson Thabani Nyawose‚ who addressed the crowd‚ announced that a meeting between the PIC‚ NWC and ANC regions scheduled to have taken place at the Coastlands hotel on Monday had been postponed.
“The plan was that today (Monday) the NWC will be visiting the KZN province to assess the situation of the organisation from the branches to all structures‚ but we were informed the meeting has been postponed‚” he said. Nyawose said one of the messages they want to communicate to the ANC leadership was that it belonged to all its members.
“There is a huge problem that we want to communicate to the leadership of the ANC that it must resolve immediately. Today we’re saying the ANC belongs to each member. The ANC does not belong to leaders. The ANC belongs to all of us. The ANC is a mass-based organisation but some leaders make it as if it’s for a select few and an organisation that works according to friendship.”