“I will not let you down,” declared newly elected ANC Gauteng chairperson David Makhura as he called for an end to lobby groups and ill-discipline in the province.
The Gauteng premier — who was elected unopposed as ANC’s provincial chair at its weekend elective conference closed the three-day gathering — thanked party delegates for a “tremendous success” and giving South Africa’s economic hub a dynamic leadership collective.
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi was elected as deputy chairperson, while Jacob Khawe was elected secretary, Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko his deputy and former Johannesburg mayor Parks Tau as treasurer.
Voting for additional members to make up the provincial executive committee continued well into the afternoon, with delegates having to select over 700 names to make up the province’s top leadership structure.
Some of the candidates who made themselves available to be elected into the PEC included disgraced former Gauteng health MEC Qedani Mahlangu. The ANC had said she would face the party’s integrity commission for her role in the Life Esidimeni tragedy which resulted in the death of more than 100 mental healthcare patients when they were transferred to unlicensed NGOs.
Brian Hlongwa, is another embattled provincial leader who ANC members had to consider for provincial leadership, despite being implicated in alleged corrupt activities during his tenure as health MEC in the province.
Fierce contestation and lobbying had taken place in the election of both the top 5 and the additional members, which Makhura said was “no problem” as lobbying was democratic in the ANC but he called for it to end as the conference had come to an end.
“If comrades leave here and convene lobby groups to assess the outcome of the provincial conference, they shall be out of order because the conference is over,” said Makhura
“The lobby groups didn’t win. Branches said we shall take comrades from different lobby groups and put them into a winning team,” said Makhura reflecting on the outcome of the contest, which saw leaders from the different slates being elected to work with one another.
This was very similar to the 2017 national conference outcome, which saw President Cyril Ramaphosa replacing Jacob Zuma as the leader of the ANC.
“We now leave this conference with a leadership collective and we must rally behind the entire leadership collective elected by this conference,” said Makhura.
The provincial ANC chair also chastised delegates for failing to elect more women to the party’s leadership collective and said this should be corrected at the next conference.
Makhura also pleaded with members not to approach the courts over ANC matters.
“Please don’t go to court on political and organisational matters. We respect the courts,” said the ANC Gauteng chair.
He said leaders respected the judiciary and would go and defend the party if it was challenged by members.
“If you take us to court, we shall go there and win because we run the issues of organisation according to constitution,” said Makhura.
Makhura also said poor people were being used in battles to fight the ANC.
“Let us not allow the enemies of the ANC and our revolution to fund your court actions whose objective to keep the ANC busy in courts, not busy on the ground serving the people,” he said.
The party has said the ANC PEC members will be announced on Monday as counting was still underway.