​ANC’s U-turn on Gauteng regional conferences

“As matters stand, all regional conferences in Gauteng are expected to sit at the time and the cut off date that has been set for such to sit,” said Pule Mabe (Felix Dlangamandla/Netwerk24)

“As matters stand, all regional conferences in Gauteng are expected to sit at the time and the cut off date that has been set for such to sit,” said Pule Mabe (Felix Dlangamandla/Netwerk24)

Within 24 hours the ANC has postponed regional conferences in Gauteng and then declared them on again for this weekend.

From the ongoing NEC conference on Monday, secretary-general Ace Magashule yesterday announced that the regional conferences would be postponed. But by the evening the party’s national spokesperson Pule Mabe told 702 radio host Karima Brown that the regional conferences would still be going ahead this weekend.

Mabe said Magashule’s announcement of the postponement had been taken out of context.

During a press briefing on Monday, Magashule said: “We have decided to postpone all regional conferences of Gauteng which were supposed to take place this coming weekend because we wanted to make sure that, as the court ruled, we must strive to resolve our matters internally and politically.”

Mabe then backtracked on this, explaining: “What the secretary general was saying was effectively taken out of context. There is no conference in Gauteng that has been stopped, cancelled or postponed.”

He added that Magashule was answering a “grievance” after some structures marched to the NEC.

On Tuesday, the Sowetan reported that a group of ANC supporters had marched to the NEC meeting at St George’s Hotel in Pretoria East on Monday, protesting that they had allegedly been “excluded from the process of nominating candidates for the regional leadership”.

In light of the protesters grievances, Magashule was reported to have said that the party had “decided to postpone all regional conferences” which were supposed to take place this weekend.

According to Mabe, the national executive committee had not “completed” its meeting when Magashule spoke to the press, which meant that the NEC’s final decision had not been reflected.

READ MORE: ANC NEC cancels all Gauteng regional conferences

Mabe said that he was told to go out to “clarify this message”, adding that Magashule “never meant to say that we are stopping conferences in Gauteng”.

The spokesperson added that “a number of things that need to be dealt with” by the province of Gauteng and their deployees.

“As matters stand, all regional conferences in Gauteng are expected to sit at the time and the cut off date that has been set for such to sit,” said Mabe.

He added that the province was going “quite well” in addressing the issues of logistics and disputes before it sat for conference.

Listen to Mabe’s statement on the regional conferences below:

Gemma Ritchie

Gemma Ritchie

Gemma Ritchie works in the Mail & Guardian's online department. She majored in English Literature at a small liberal arts college in the USA.  Read more from Gemma Ritchie

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