African National Congress Chairperson Gwede Mantashe has warned those who intend to disrupt the party’s upcoming January 8 celebrations in Bloemfontein, in the Free State, saying they will be harshly dealt with.
Mantashe was speaking outside the ANC provincial offices in Mangaung. The ANC is expected to hold its 111th birthday celebrations at its birthplace.
Various events are expected to take place throughout the week as a build-up to the main event on Sunday.
Mantashe has emphasised that they will not tolerate any ill-discipline.
“There will be no disruptions. You see, when you misbehave you get punished, and we emphasise that people who misbehave get punished. People will know that the ANC has no time to play.”
ANC briefs media on the state of readiness for January 8 Statement
The ANC says the Dr Petrus Molemela stadium has now been cleared for its 111-year celebrations to be addressed by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday.
This is despite earlier reports that the just over 15 000 seater stadium was vandalized with no running water, no operational lifts, no VIP rooms with no electrical and safety certificates.
Briefing the media on the preparedness to hold its annual January 8 celebrations at the stadium, the governing party said there was nothin sinister on the part of the municipality to raise the red flag on the safety of the stadium.
Fraught with service delivery challenges and mismanagement, the municipality was placed under administration and the inter-ministerial task team led by Cogta Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Human Settlement Minister Mamloko Kubayi and Enoch Godongwana from the finance portfolio were roped in to help resolve the crisis.
Earlier, there were also concerns that the municipal stadium meant to host the ANC birthday celebrations was not in good conditions due to lack of maintenance.
Compounding the problem of service delivery is the political infighting with ANC in the municipality with some members suspected of keenly supporting a motion of no confidence in their mayor.
However, ANC Secretary General Fikile Mbalula has vowed to end the political instability and chaos in that municipality.
“The troika issues, we need to attend to that. On the 4th in the afternoon, we are meeting with the IPC and we will deal with this anarchy that is there in Mangaung where ANC members are doing as they wish. That holiday is over, there will be no ANC member going forward who will work with the opposition without a mandate. That is not going to happen. The center must hold.”
And despite the safety standard of the stadium been questioned earlier, Mbalula says all has been solved insisting they couldn’t allow people to go into a stadium that is not safe.
“Our people will be there. So, I can safely report that, we can’t take our people to a place that is not safe. We have addressed all the issues that we have raised between ourselves and the municipality. So, we can safely say our destination is Dr Petrus Molemola Stadium.”
First Deputy Secretary General Nomvula Mokonyane, who is also the ANC Head of Organising, says they don’t suspect any foul play in the municipality’s remarks on the safety standard of the stadium.
“The commitment is that they will hand over the stadium to the ANC this afternoon. Remember, when did we get the keys Cape Town stadium? A day before! We were made to cover the pitch and spend R2 million to cover the pitch. So, the ANC always adheres to the conditions that are granted to it in terms of compliance even with this one, SG, I don’t think there is anything sinister because when you apply you expect the owner of the property to qualify the services that are there and up to what standards.”
Again the ANC said the stage is set for the conclusion of the unfinished business of its national conference. The governing party failed to conclude the business of its conference in December due to registration delays at the start of the conference.
But Mbalula now says their over 4000 delegates will join the conference which will be decentralized into nine hubs with the main one in the Free State.
“The National Hub will be Imvelo Safari Lodge and Conference Centre, Mangaung, Limpopo will be at the Bolivia Lodge Polokwane. The Eastern Cape will be East London Exhibition Centre; Northern Cape will be Mittah Seperepere Conference Centre; Mpumalanga will be Steve Tshwete Banquet Hall in Middleburg; Western Cape will be the Cresta Grand Conference Hotel in Cape Town. Gauteng will be at Birchwood Hotel and Conference Centre in Boksburg; KZN will be at the Durban Exhibition Centre in eThekwini. The national hub in Mangaung will host the NEC, leagues, alliance and the Free State delegation and there will be eight provincial hubs. Credentials remain unchanged and delegates are therefore requested to bring along their tags. Registration will be done at the hub with new delegate tags issued.”
The main agenda items to be concluded during the hybrid session include reports from Commissions on Strategy and Tactics, Organisational Renewal and Finances and Sustainability as well as reports from Commission on Governance and Transformation, the Constitutional Amendments and the Conference Declaration.
ANC Secretary-General Fikile Mbalula vows to deal with the ‘anarchy’ in the Mangaung Metro:
Additional reporting by: Ntebo Mokobo