North West ANC branches ask for national intervention in provincial list conference

Supporters of the African National Congress hold the party flag during ANC president Jacob Zuma's election campaign in Atteridgeville a township located to the west of Pretoria, South Africa July 5, 2016. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
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Some African National Congress (ANC) branches in the Dr Ruth Segomotsi-Mompati region in North-West have called on the ANC national leaders to ensure that the party convenes its provincial list conference.

The conference has been postponed more than once following disagreements on drafting of the lists and procedures followed to convene branch general meetings.

As a result, the branches accuse Secretary-General, Ace Magashule of taking away the right to organise the conference from the Provincial Task Team (PTT), with a view of giving the faction aligned to former chairperson Supra Mahumapelo an advantage to cause delays and manipulate the lists.

A provincial list conference organised for early December was postponed following scuffles between members of the warring factions in the province.

Some lodged disputes that due processes were not followed and lists were rigged. The PTT was also not spared, as its members are being accused of rigging the lists and putting their names at the top. Another attempt at holding the list conference last week did not materialise.

“North West is being portrayed as the province which does not have leadership. Our PTT has been disregarded as if they do not have coordination in the province. We are being portrayed in the country as if we are a province that still needs Supra Mahumapelo for the ANC to triumph and to get stronger, as an organisation on the ground. And that is not true. We are saying our PTT has got the full support of branches. Our PTT is intact. Our PTT is united. We request comrade Ace Magashule to hand over the power back to the PTT to run the conference,” says Thapelo Galeboe, branch representative.

Political analyst at the University of North West, Professor Andre Duvenhage, says organising a provincial list conference couldn’t have been a walk in the park in this province, in which deep rooted divisions are the order of the day.

“North West is very prominent as far as divisions are concerned. And we know that the PTT and Mr Job Mokgoro are working in a certain line. But it’s also true that Mr Supra Mahumapelo and his support base is working in another direction.”

Duvenhage concurs with Galeboe’s stance that Magashule might sway the outcomes of the list conference in favour of the faction aligned to Supra Mahumapelo.

“Mr Ace Magashule will definitely use his influence to balance and to work towards the interest of certain groupings. And we know that him and Mr Supra Mahumapelo are very close to each other. And the only process that can rectify this is the National Executive Committee or a decision coming from the NEC.”

However, the acting ANC National Spokesperson, Dakota Legoete, has denied these allegations, saying the provincial list conference will be held on Wednesday next week.

He says there’s nothing sinister about Magashule’s involvement in preparing for the provincial list conference.

“It’s in the list guidelines of the ANC that a Secretary-General is the chairperson of the National List Committee. That authority is given to him by our list guidelines. The allegations that he’s in favour of Supra Mahumapelo or is in favour of a certain faction, is just to undermine the ANC and its processes and it’s a lack of understanding of the ANC and its processes. It’s a lack of Umrabulo from some of our branches,” says Legoete.

The North West is the only province in which the provincial list conference has not yet been held. The disputes have been lodged with the National List Appeals Committee.

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