Eric Naki
Political Editor
3 minute read
22 Apr 2022
4:45 pm

ANC Eastern Cape conference put on hold over allegations of electoral cheating

Eric Naki

Luthuli House had hoped to process all complaints in time for the conference, but there were so many they might not be completed by next week.

ANC flag. Photo: Supplied

The Eastern Cape ANC provincial conference has been tentatively rescheduled for next week but the province is unlikely to have resolved the existing disputes over electoral cheating to the full before that.

The province had been marred by disputes over alleged manipulation of branch general meeting election results, allegedly by some party leaders who wanted to gain an advantage over their opponents at the provincial conference.

Also Read: No nonsense Mashatile gets ANC branches to toe the line

At least 36 branches in the Chris Hani region and a fairly large number at Dr WB Rubusana regions are affected by disputes that resulted in the postponement of the two regional conferences and the delay of the provincial meeting.

Luthuli House is expected to attend to the disputes lodged by grassroots members in time for the provincial conference.

But the numbers are so big that the task may not be finished within a week as Luthuli House hoped.

ANC treasurer general, Paul Mashatile told the provincial task team, which replaced the dissolved Eastern Cape ANC provincial executive committee, that the province had a verified total membership of 120 320 and 701 branches.

But 670 branches were verified of which 642 qualified which made the province exceed the prescribed threshold of 70 percent of branches in good standing.

The only outstanding matter that must be resolved for the province to hold the conference were disputes and appeals made by branches that complained about cheating during the elections at branch general meetings.

Mashatile said the disputes were being dealt with by the ANC national dispute resolution committee (NDRC) which would report to Luthuli House.

But some party members in the Eastern Cape said the fact that the province had already qualified to hold the conference made it a mere fait accompli attempt to resolve the disputes before the conference.

“We think they are planning to go ahead even if the disputes are not resolved, it seems they have already concluded that our disputes are not important,” a member from the Rubusana region who requested anonymity said.

Earlier there were rumours that the province could hold its conference this weekend despite a statement issued this week by Calata House provincial head office to postpone it pending the resolution of the disputes.

This caused panic among some branch and regional leaders who suspected that a secret plot was being hatched to exclude members opposed to the current provincial leadership from participating in the meeting.

Also read: ANC’s election of tainted leaders not a fault but a feature, say experts

Mashatile suggested that the Eastern Cape provincial conference that was expected this weekend be rescheduled to take place within the next seven days but not later than 28 April to 1 May.

This means should the NDRC finalise the disputes and give a report, the provincial conference would go ahead.

A three-horse race is likely to ensue between ANC provincial convenor, Oscar Mabuyane, provincial treasurer Babalo Madikizela and provincial legislature deputy speaker Mlibo Qoboshiyane for the provincial chairperson.

Mabuyane is facing a tough challenge from Madikizela while Qoboshiyane represented the radical economic transformation grouping, which is weak in the province.