Jessie and co bring relief to quarrelsome ANC branches

Court battles between the ANC leadership and disaffected branches claiming gatekeeping and the abuse of party processes have been averted in Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.

Interventions by the ANC’s national dispute resolution committee, headed by deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte, to address the complaints by branches — such as the names of deceased party members being included on audited branch membership lists — appear to have paid off in both provinces.

READ MORE: Unravelling the riddle of Jessie Duarte

In Mpumalanga, members of branches from the Nkomazi region who had threatened to go to court over fraudulent memberships and to demand a provincial general council (PGC) this week said they were satisfied with the attempts to address their complaints.

Ronnie Malomane, one of six members who had issued Luthuli House with notice of their intention to go to court, said that, after a meeting between the provincial leadership and the head office last Thursday, they had been informed that the PGC would go ahead by the end of August.

“This is a relief for all of us,’’ said Malomane. “We need to see the ANC winning the next election, but if we are distracted it is a problem.

“There is no longer a threat of legal action from our side. We are very satisfied with the way our issues are being dealt with. We are happy with progress,’’ he said.

Malomane said the party’s acting Mpumalanga chairperson, Mandla Ndlovu, had visited the region to investigate their complaints.

“We are very satisfied. He did make sure that we were accommodated in the meetings and that we were kept up to date about developments and progress,” Malomane said.

“The ANC said that it wanted comrades to resolve issues amicably inside the party structures rather than them going to court. According to what we are seeing, the ANC is taking our issues seriously and is prepared to address them.’’

In KwaZulu-Natal, where branches from several regions had interdicted last month’s provincial conference from going ahead, the dispute resolution committee is understood to have resolved the bulk of the complaints raised.

This means that the interdict application brought by Siyabonga Hlongwa and other members from the Lower South Coast, Harry Gwala, eThekwini and Moses Mabhida regions, is likely to be withdrawn, allowing the conference to go ahead.

The conference had been convened to elect new leaders after the high court in Pietermaritzburg last September set aside the outcome of KwaZulu-Natal’s November 2015 provincial elective conference.

A member of the provincial task team that organised the conference said that the disputes raised by the party’s eThekwini, Harry Gwala and Moses Mabhida regions had been resolved, and that just one issue remained outstanding among the complaints from the Lower South Coast region.

“We understand that this is likely to be resolved by Friday, and that the conference will go ahead with no further challenge[s],’’ he said.

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Paddy Harper
Paddy Harper
Storyteller.
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