Factional battles in ANC unlikely to come to an end soon

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Factional battles within the African National Congress (ANC) and specifically KwaZulu-Natal are unlikely to come to an end any time soon. That is according to Professor of Political Science at the University of the Western Cape Bheki Mongomezulu.

This is as some disgruntled ANC members have interdicted the party’s provincial conference at the weekend forcing its postponement to next month.

At least three regions, believed to be supporting former KwaZulu-Natal ANC Chairperson Senzo Mchunu, secured an order against those supporting Sihle Zikalala saying that there are issues that needed to be resolved before the meeting commenced.

However, political tensions in the ANC could be as a result of lack of proper management at the organisation’s highest level. Last December at its elective conference, the ANC resolved to work for unity and renewal ahead of the 2019 elections.

However the much-vaunted unity remains elusive with some of its provincial conferences either interdicted or marred by violence.

Once united and well governed, the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal is limping from one problem into another. The outcomes of its 2015 elective conference were nullified by the courts and now another provincial conference stalled at the weekend.

As the ANC National Working Committee takes place in Johannesburg on Monday, the political tension in KwaZulu-Natal and who is likely to succeed former North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo will be high on the agenda. However Professor of Political Science at the University of the Western Cape Bheki Mngomezulu says entrenched factions in the ANC are as a result of the failure by the NEC to deal honestly with the challenges in the organisation.

” The moment the NEC took a decision to recall President Zuma it added to the problems that were already there so I think one of the things that should happen is that the NEC of the ANC should be going to the provinces not sending just one or two individuals and call all the factions together and then first of all apologise for the mistakes that have happened in the past even if they know that they are not the ones who are solely responsible but as leaders they have to take that upon themselves and say we are sorry for the factions. That gesture alone for me would make an impact because at the moment I don’t think the situation is going to disappear anytime soon ”

Professor Mngomezulu also says in KwaZulu-Natal the ANC should elect an inclusive leadership like it did at the national level. ” As a temporary measure for me that would be a good approach saying lets go back to our branches and say we are well aware of the dynamics that are there but for the sake of the party lets strike a compromise. Let us allow Sihle Zikalala to be the chairperson and lets allow Mike Mabuyakhulu to be the deputy chairperson because they are the ones leading the PTT and so far as leaders they have done well. It is just that the word has not gone down to the branches because these are the people who go to the streets not the leaders, as leaders they sit together and have tea while the masses are killing each other down there.’’

Without dictating how the Kwa Zulu-Natal elective conference should pan out, earlier President Cyril Ramaphosa said what is happening in that province clearly shows that the winner takes all approach will not work.

”We are saying we want to foster unity and one of the ways of fostering unity is to have a united leadership, a leadership which is drawn from all approaches. For instance the NEC the way it is constructed now is drawn from all approaches so that in the end the winner takes all approach should be seen as not been the most efficacy type of approach going forward.”

The president also promised that the North West issue on who should become the premier is also receiving attention. ” That is also a process that is underway; soon we are going to have the North West premier.”

The fortnightly ANC National Working Committee meeting was preceded by the top six officials meeting at Luthuli House on Monday morning and the governing party is expected to communicate the outcomes of its meeting soon.

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