Tensions are running high in the Eastern Cape as the ANC prepares for its elective conference, with former close comrades no longer seeing eye to eye.
Things came to a head when 11 ANC branches in Dr WB Rubusana region in Buffalo City challenged the party’s provincial leadership decision to remove them.
The provincial executive committee (PEC) allegedly established branch task teams (BTT) without disbanding the executive committees, forcing the two structures to exist parallel to one another.
The regional leadership took the matter to Luthuli House, but ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe neither acknowledged, nor replied to a WhatsApp query about whether the matter was being handled.
Mawethu Marata, ANC Dr WB Rubusana acting regional chair, said: “The PEC has not written to us to disband the branches but they appointed BTTs alongside them. This will cause an unnecessary fight among ANC members in this region. But know that the upcoming provincial conference has to do with this.”
Marata said the PEC action was in defiance of an instruction from ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte that no branches should be disbanded; that structures should rather be converted.
“No reason was given … the same branches tried to go to elective BGMs [branch general meetings] in January, but were not given QR-codes.
“But suddenly, in February, new BTTs were appointed to replace them,” Marata said.
There are three leadership slates in the Eastern Cape, led by Premier Oscar Mabuyane, provincial treasurer Babalo Madikizela, who broke away from the Mabuyane faction, and the Jacob Zuma-aligned legislature speaker Mlibo Qoboshiyane.
They are competing for the position of provincial chair.