ANC working committee mulls disbanding Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga, women’s league

The ANC’s national working committee (NWC) has discussed whether to disband the Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga regions during a meeting on Monday afternoon. This would mean the establishment of interim structures, with an extended term of six months. 

A source who was present during the meeting told the Mail & Guardian that the matter was discussed by the governing party’s NWC after Eastern Cape officials made the proposition to the national officials.

ANC head of organising Nomvula Mokonyane, who is tasked with overseeing structures at the governing party’s conferences, is understood to have submitted a report on provinces’ readiness to elect new leaders. 

The insider said the North West was among the provinces that petitioned national officials for an extension of the interim provincial committee, which was mandated by the national executive committee (NEC). This was, however, rejected by the NWC.

“There is a court ruling that when your term of office has come to an end you must be disbanded,” the source said. “What we don’t want is to extend the life of the North West and the Western Cape. They must go to conferences.

“What is happening is that some comrades who have hitched their trailers behind [Eastern Cape chairperson] Oscar Mabuyane want his term extended,” the source, a member of the NEC, added.

Another ANC leader with extensive knowledge of the talks said the Eastern Cape provincial officials, led by Mabuyane, wanted to buy time and “this is the only reason why they would want a disbandment: so that they can have time to work on branches.” 

The party leader added that, should the NWC agree to this, it would be seen by some as hurting the Babalo Madikizela faction in the Eastern Cape. This was, however, not the case, the source added.

“They think this will hurt us on the ground, but we have the numbers. We will not be shaken. Why can’t they wait for the province to go to a conference? If that fails then we can disband. Why are they presuming that the conference will fail? We have been moving steadily and branch meetings are halfway through. They are hoping that a six-month window will give them time to replenish the ground but it won’t work,” the party leader and Madikizela ally said. 

The NEC member who spoke to the M&G said Peter Nyoni, who has been in talks with Deputy President David Mabuza in Mpumalanga, stands to benefit from the move. Mpumalanga was meant to go to a conference on 11 March. 

“If we postpone the conference, it hurts the provincial acting chairperson, Mandla Ndlovu. Nyoni will have time to work on the ground. It benefits them,” the ANC insider said. 

The insider said there was also talk about disbanding the ANC women’s league, which has been battling to go to conference. The M&G previously reported that the league’s working committee had had a robust discussion about whether the structure should be disbanded and a task team installed until it holds its conference later this year.

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Lizeka Tandwa
Lizeka Tandwa
Lizeka Tandwa is a political journalist with a keen interest in local government.

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