After being postponed three times, the African National Congress (ANC) Ekurhuleni Regional Conference is set to go ahead as planned at the Indaba Hotel this weekend.
Watch: ANC Ekhuruleni conference goes ahead after several postponements:
This is despite five branches having lodged disputes with the ANC’s provincial dispute resolution committee. Current regional chairperson Mzwandile Masina is seeking re-election and will square up with former Treasurer Doctor Xhakaza.
However the region’s ANC Youth League (ANCYL) has nailed its colour to the mast, seeking a change in leadership. The Youth League successfully concluded its elective conference last weekend and now it’s setting eyes on who should lead the Ekurhuleni region.
It is pushing for Xhakaza as their preferred candidate.
ANC Youth League’s Regional Executive Council (REC) Member Simphiwe Patose explains, “The conference has declared to support products of the ANCYL, the likes of the former regional chairperson of the ANCYL comrade Doctor Xhakaza to stand as the chairperson of the ANC.”
Political analyst Thamsanqa Malinga says it remains to be seen if the league still has the clout.
“If this conference is endorsed as having being an accredited conference that has got the mandate, I think the outcomes will be critical to one of the two slates. ” explains Malinga.
Some branches suspect foul play, accusing organisers of manipulating branch qualification guidelines to exclude them from the conference.
ANC Ekurhuleni regional secretary Thembinkosi Nciza says, “We wanted to make sure that it has integrity and we make sure that as comrades we go to the conference. They are not only focusing on voting. They are also focusing on discussions to make sure that when we come out of that conference, delegates are clear on the way forward. Resolutions that we must take out of that conference is to make sure that we build the ANC.”
Nciza will face off with Ekurhuleni’s ANC Women’s League leader, Nokuthula Xaba, for the position of regional secretary. And current regional chairperson Mzwandile Masina’s deputy and chief whip, Jongizizwe Dlabathi will be challenged by former regional secretary and ANC MP, Teliswa Mgweba.
For the deputy regional secretary position, ANC Youth League Ekurhuleni regional task team member and former South African Students Congress Organisation (SASCO), secretary-general, Moipone Mhlongo in Masina’s camp, will square up with Andile Mngwevu, formerly ANCYL Ekurhuleni regional chair.
In Masina’s favour, the battle for regional treasurer will be between Sello Sekhokho and businessman Bavumile Vilakazi.