ANC Women's League fails in North West

ANC Women’s League president Angie Motshekga has instructed the league’s dysfunctional branch in North West to convene a provincial elective conference by the end of this month, almost a year early.

In an interview with the Mail & Guardian this week Motshekga confirmed that she and the league’s national leadership had taken a decision to call for an early conference.

“It is true that the structure collapsed naturally because there was no leadership,” she said. Only one of the organisation’s top five provincial leaders—deputy secretary Violet Maluleka—was available to run the league.

Chairwoman Edna Molewa was appointed minister of social development just a year into her term and later minister of water and environmental affairs. Deputy chairwoman Nono Khanyile resigned her post early this year, citing unhappiness with the leadership.

Secretary Lenah Miga, whose position is full time, according to the league’s constitution, is now mayor of the Mafikeng Municipality, and treasurer Maureen Modiselle went to Trinidad and Tobago as an ambassador after serving as North West ­premier for just more than a year.

Miga told the M&G on Thursday that she was shocked by the assertion that league structures in the province had collapsed. “There is no collapse, there has never been a collapse,” she said, adding that the national leadership that ordered an early conference had been delaying the event.

“We have been waiting since August for the national leadership to audit our membership. We can’t do anything without the national structure saying we should, because this early conference is their directive. Based on their audit, they have to tell us that we must go for a provincial general council or a provincial congress.”

Miga slammed the league’s national executive committee for chastising its North West arm.

“You’ve got NEC members deployed in every province. We wonder why we’re now told that the province has collapsed while they have been here all along. We don’t want to suspect this is related to 2012,” she said, referring to the ANC’s elective conference in Mangaung, which has polarised almost all the party’s structures in the country.

Motshekga said the morale of the organisation had been adversely affected. “The minister [Molewa] has been busy with [­climate change conference] COP17; there was no one to implement the programmes of the women’s league.” Molewa is also national spokesperson of the league.

Motshekga said: “We did our normal visits to assess the state of the organisation and even then we were not happy with what we saw.”

Mmanaledi Mataboge

Mmanaledi Mataboge

Mmanaledi Mataboge is the Mail & Guardian's political editor. Raised in a rural village, she later studied journalism in a township where she fell in love with the medium of radio. This former radio presenter and producer previously worked as a senior politics reporter for the Mail & Guardian, and writes on politics, government, and anything that gives the disadvantaged, poor, and the oppressed a voice. Read more from Mmanaledi Mataboge

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