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Andile Lungisa launches campaign for Bay ANC leadership

ANC councillor Andile Lungisa
ANC councillor Andile Lungisa
Image: Eugene Coetzee

Andile Lungisa officially kicked off his campaign for the ANC’s Nelson Mandela Bay chair, with just two months to go until the regional elective conference. 

At a gathering of ANC supporters at the Zwide rent office on Tuesday, Lungisa was chosen as their favourite to run for the top post.

The gathering, however, was not a formal one and therefore any decision taken at the meeting was not the official position of the branches of the ANC in the Bay.

Lungisa is unlikely to be elected unopposed as a number of names have been bandied about as potential contenders for the chairmanship.

On Lungisa’s wish list for the top five of the ANC in the Bay are former secretary Themba Xathula as deputy chair, ex-Bay youth league secretary Sicelo Mleve as secretary, Nozipho Jodwana as deputy secretary and ANC councillor Gamalihleli Maqula.

A new regional executive committee (REC) will be elected at the ANC’s Bay conference from March 27 to 29.

The last regional structure was disbanded in 2018 after it failed to convene a regional general council to appoint a chair for the REC after Lungisa was instructed to step down in 2017 by then secretary-general Gwede Mantashe.

At the time, Lungisa was a member of the ANC provincial executive committee.

Lungisa said he was guided by the structures of the ANC.

“But I want to say that I am available for any position the structures might want to put me in.

“I’m for the unity of the ANC and united members and comrades of the ANC in Port Elizabeth,” Lungisa said.

According to the constitution of the ANC, at least 90% of the delegates at a conference should be from branches in the region, elected at properly constituted branch meetings. 

The number of delegates per branch must be in proportion to their paid up membership.

Provided that each branch is in good standing, they would be entitled to send at least one delegate to represent them at the conference.

The remainder of the voting delegates at a conference would be from members of the branch executive committee, the ANC Veterans’ League, the ANC Youth League and the ANC Women’s League, as allocated by the REC.

A controversial figure, Lungisa was found guilty of assaulting DA councillor Rano Kayser with a glass jug during a heated council meeting in October 2016.

After two failed attempts before the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court and the high court in Makhanda to have his conviction and sentence overturned, he is waiting for the outcome of his appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA)

Asked if he was not worried about the outcome of the appeal, Lungisa said he would wait and see what happened.

Speaking on the upcoming conference, ANC provincial secretary Lulama Ngcukayitobi said the audit process on branches was complete.

“We’re waiting for the secretary-general [Ace Magashule] to sign off on the report and send us the branch list, attendance registers, and after that all branches are expected to hold branch general meetings.

“There are two mandates [for members at the branch meetings] and those are to nominate delegates to attend the regional conference as well as nominate people whom they prefer to be in the regional executive committee.

“After that, where there are disputes, those will be sent to the dispute committee so that we can hold the conference by March,” Ngcukayitobi said.

Asked how many branches in the metro had qualified to attend the conference, ANC regional task team co-ordinator Luyolo Nqakula said there were 49.

“[The] threshold for the conference is 42 and the preliminary report indicates 49 have passed. [We are] awaiting [the] final signed off audit report,” Nqakula said.