Molefe Seeletsa
Digital Journalist
3 minute read
7 May 2022
4:31 pm

‘We can’t fight every year’: Mantashe tell ANC delegates as interdict surfaces at Eastern Cape conference

Molefe Seeletsa

The ANC chair warned delegates against factionalism, telling them to focus on party policy

ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe ahead of his testimony at Raymond Zondo’s commission of inquiry into state capture in 2018. Picture: Gallo Images / Netwerk24 / Felix Dlangamandla

Some ANC Eastern Cape members have gone to court on an urgent basis to interdict the party’s provincial elective conference.

Some disgruntled ANC members from the Dr WB Rubusana region have threatened to interdict the conference in a bid to enforce an existing court order.

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

The conference – which started on Friday and is set to end on Sunday – is being held at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in East London.

Court order

Early in April this year, the Eastern Cape High Court interdicted and ordered the regional conference of Dr WB Rubusana to be stopped, pending the finalisation of all internal appeals.

At the time, the court declared the fraudulently organised elective ANC branch biennial general meetings (BBGMs), and branch general meetings (BGMs) in Dr WB Rubusana as unlawful and unconstitutional.

The court also ordered the ANC to ensure compliance with the party’s constitution and its resolutions in the meetings.

ALSO READ: No nonsense Mashatile gets ANC branches to toe the line

In light of the fresh interdict, the ANC members have alleged that branches in the WB Rubusana region have been registered for the conference despite the previous court order preventing this.

“We are of the view that those branches should not be allowed to participate in the conference. We are not interdicting or seeking to stop the conference from continuing with its business.

“We are solely seeking to exclude the branches implicated in the membership manipulation. As far as we are concerned, the membership manipulation has not been resolved,” ANC member Ondela Sokomani told eNCA on Saturday.

‘We can’t fight every year’

During a media briefing on Saturday, ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe warned delegates against factionalism, telling them to focus on party policies.

“You are holding your conference after the policy papers for the policy conference have been released. That’s should be the preoccupation of the conference,” he said.

Mantashe said the ANC cannot fight in a conference over elections of leaders.

“We cannot be divided by conferences. What kind of an organisation is that? Here in the province after every four years there must be a conference.

“We can’t fight every year, so the point I am making is beyond conferences we must be in the ANC together. When we contest we are not enemies of one another,” he continued.

READ MORE: ANC Eastern Cape gears up for conference as chair candidate tells delegates to take bribes

“These delegates cannot fight to the death on the basis of elections. If that is what you are here for, you are crying at a wrong funeral. You cannot have a conference focusing on elections. The conference should focus on policy.

“If you focus on elections, whoever wins it will be a hollow victory. I am appealing to you to focus on policies. Fighting one another as if there is no tomorrow, as if we are enemies of one another, that is self-destructive,” Mantashe added.

The ANC chair also said people who manipulate branch processes must be dealt with, adding that they were putting the lives of delegates at risk.

Approximately 1,500 delegates will be voting this weekend.

Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane, provincial treasurer Babalo Madikizela and provincial legislature deputy speaker Mlibo Qoboshiyane are in contention for the provincial chairperson position.

Additional reporting by Eric Naki