ANC committee in Jo'burg descends 'into total madness'

The dissolution of the ANC regional executive committee in Johannesburg was necessary because it was “descending into total madness”, the ANC in Gauteng said on Tuesday.

“The ANC Gauteng provincial council has taken a firm decision to dissolve the Johannesburg regional executive committee (REC),” said the party’s provincial secretary David Makhura at a press briefing in Johannesburg.

“As part of the REC descending into total madness they wanted to recall the mayor,” said Makhura.

“The mayor will serve until his term ends in 2011.”

He described Johannesburg as one of the ANC’s best-run municipalities and called Masondo an “upright person”.

Media reports earlier this week said the committee had voted to recall Masondo and suspend city manager Mavela Dlamini.

Makhura said the attempted recall was a reflection of “perpetual divisions and factionalism in the REC”.

“There is a deep sense of fear being spread around Johannesburg,” said Makhura.

“If you are aligned to the right people you can do anything you want: beat up people, disrupt meetings, rent a mob.”

‘Incredible acrimony’
Makhura said the committee had ignored its obligations in terms of the ANC’s constitution and was preoccupied with fighting factional battles.

“[There has been] incredible acrimony, threatening each other which is completely un-ANC,” he said.

Makhura added that the committee had been unable to hold meetings consistently, and those meetings it did hold were consumed by factional battles.

“The few meetings it holds, it doesn’t discuss the important issues. It only discusses who must be deployed to government,” he said.

Makhura called the dissolution “painful”, but was necessary for the long-term health of the party.

“That’s why we lost the Western Cape and we are not going to wait until we lose Johannesburg.”

He added that the decision to dissolve the regional committee by the provincial executive committee (PEC) was unanimous.

“There was no dissent on the dissolution.
Every member of the PEC agreed on the dissolution, including those members [of the REC] who were being dissolved,” claimed Makhura.

The dissolution of the REC and endorsement of Masondo comes on the heels of a report by an ANC task team. On Wednesday, Business Day said that the report backed the recall of Masondo for financial improprieties. The newspaper also published a copy of the report.

Makhura blasted the news article and accused the paper of engaging in “gutter journalism”.

He claimed that the report given to Business Day had been altered from the original and the journalist was taking sides in factional fighting in the party.

“It’s very easy for me to tell you who gave you the report,” said Makhura as he looked at the Business Day journalist. - Sapa

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