It might have been a case of fourth time lucky for the ANC’s national working committee (NWC), which finally managed to sit this week following several postponements.
The numerous postponements have added to growing concerns that the body, which is meant to implement national executive committee (NEC) decisions, has been failing to do its job.
The suspension of NWC meetings, which has been due to government commitments and political work, is also expected to become a subject of discussion at the NEC meeting set to take place this coming week.
However, acting national spokesperson Dakota Legoete said some in the party are “hard” on the NWC and want to see it being “restructured”.
He told News24 previous NWC meetings failed to sit due to international commitments the leadership had to fulfil.
“Don’t forget we have the responsibility of also being a governing party. Some of these things, when they are being set up don’t consider that Monday is an ANC day,” said Legoete.
Work being done
He said even when the NWC failed to meet the secretary general, who is the chief political administrator of the organisation, and the treasurer general, continued to ensure that party work was being done. Both of these are full-time positions.
Responding to claims that some in the ANC want to bring up this issue at the NEC, which is the ANC’s highest decision-making structure in between conferences, he said constitutionally they had the right to do so.
“Those who feel this should be taken to the NEC are correct, it’s within their rights but some really just want the NWC reshuffled,” he said.
Two sources from the NWC told News24 there was growing concern over being unable to obtain a quorum and that the structure itself would have to discuss this ahead of the NEC.
“I honestly don’t feel even the president cares for this kind of meeting. Cyril is concerned about government, he has chosen to focus on that and while I understand why, I can tell you that’s a dangerous thing to do,” one insider told News24.
The senior ANC leader claimed those who are full-time have not only been preoccupied with the next national elective conference but are attempting to consolidate a base that will get behind them as they possibly make a play for top leadership in the 107-year-old organisation.
This comes on the back of claims that ANC NEC member and Minister of Human Settlements Lindiwe Sisulu is trying to lobby for her own cause as she still harbours ambition to be the ANC’s president.
Weekly newspaper Mail & Guardian recently reported on her appointment of powerful mobiliser and ANC Women’s League president Bathabile Dlamini as interim chair of the social housing regulatory authority, a move which has been read as an attempt to get her on her side when she eventually seeks to hold the party’s highest office.
Her ambitions for a leadership role have not been welcomed and might make her a target if rumours of a planned Cabinet reshuffle materialise.
“I think comrades are very unfocused out of their own insecurity,” said Legoete.
Referring to the ANC’s historic Polokwane 2007 conference, Legoete said the party had learnt since then that those who don’t make it to Cabinet often ended up regrouping and then attempt to defy the party’s leadership.
A similar phenomenon took place following the ANC’s 2012 elective conference in Mangaung, which he said further divided the ANC.
“The ANC has learnt that some of these members we can utilise as full-time members in line with ANC conference resolutions,” he said.
He referred to the 2017 conference resolutions to strengthen the party’s headquarters by creating organising and policy full-time positions.
“For them to say some of the full-time comrades are trying to position themselves is just unfair, we are just implementing conference resolutions,” said Legoete.
“Comrades must go service their branches and provinces to be