ANC Ghostbusters ready for court
“Ghost” ANC members who had died and were allegedly kept on branch membership lists to inflate numbers ahead of December’s national elective conference at Nasrec continue to haunt the party in Mpumalanga, despite attempts by the national leadership to exorcise them.
Branch members from Ehlanzeni and other regions marched on Luthuli House, the ANC’s headquarters in Johannesburg, last month to demand the disbandment of the provincial executive committee (PEC), which they say was elected through a tainted process. They are now preparing to go to court.
Ronnie Malomane, a spokesperson for the branches, said they had earlier suspended the court action to allow the necessary processes to be completed but now had “no choice but to go to court”.
“We have exhausted the ANC internal processes. We have got nowhere. We have tried everything. Now we are going to court,” he said. “Our lawyers have written to head office. We are now getting ready.”
The province is set to hold a provincial general council meeting on Friday, September 14, but Malomane’s grouping says it will use the court to halt the process.
A successor to former chairperson David Mabuza — now the country’s deputy president — and replacements for those members of the Mpumalanga PEC who were elected to the national executive committee in December will be chosen at the provincial general council.
“This PEC was elected on the basis of fraudulent membership figures, including dead people who were still on the [electoral] roll,” Malomane said.
“It was elected by delegates from cloned branches. How can such a PEC then oversee the preparations for conference? It cannot do this legally.”
Malomane said Luthuli House needed to disband the PEC and appoint a provincial task team to prepare for provincial elections and eventually hold a conference.
“We cannot have this PEC running the ANC in the province as it is itself tainted,” Malomane said.
Earlier this year, the Mail & Guardian reported that cloned branches and ghost members had been discovered in the ANC’s Mpumalanga regions.
In Ward 24, Ehlanzeni region, 11 dead people were found to be on the branch membership lists that were used for nominations and other preparatory processes for the regional and provincial conferences, which had taken place ahead of the national conference.
One of the members, Michael Ntshaba, died in 2011, another in 2013. Two died last year and four in 2014.
The branch had also been cloned twice, creating three branches, with the same identity numbers being used for memberships across the branches.
At the time, ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte, who chairs the party’s national dispute resolution committee, said they did not believe the “ghost” members had been kept on membership lists for sinister purposes. On Thursday Duarte said she was no longer dealing with Mpumalanga. “The secretary general appointed Chris Ackeer to deal with Mpumalanga. I was excluded,” she said.
Attempts to reach Ackeer for comment were not successful. Mpumalanga ANC acting chairperson Mandla Ndlovu did not answer calls.