ANC Eastern Cape in conciliatory tone over Andile Lungisa's controversial election

MARCH 14, 2017
ANC Eastern Cape in conciliatory tone over Andile Lungisa's controversial election

The African National Congress (ANC) in the Eastern Cape on Tuesday echoed President Jacob Zuma in calling on all its members to respect the controversial outcome of the party's Nelson Mandela Bay regional elective conference that was held over the weekend.

At the elective conference, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Councillor, Andile Lungisa, emerged as the new Chairperson of the re-constituted Regional Executive Committe.

This is despite a letter sent well ahead of the conference from ANC Secretary General, Gwede Mantashe, advising the party's secretaries that the ANC’s constitution forbids party members in higher positions from contesting for lower posts as that would be "opportunistic".

Lungisa was a member of the ANC Eastern Cape Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) ahead of the elections, but went on and contested in the election anyway. He beat his rival, Tony Duba, by 14 votes after garnering 71 votes. 

While President Zuma endorsed Lungisa's election as the will of the people, it is understood the Secretary General is not going to allow the party's constitution - or at least directives from his office, to be disregarded.

"The PEC of the ANC in the Province of the Eastern Cape welcomes the outcomes of the Nelson Mandela and Amathole regional elective conferences that took place this past weekend, on the 10th – 12th days of March 2017," said the PEC Secretary, Oscar Mabuyane.

"The PEC thereby congratulates the members elected into the Nelson Mandela and Amathole Regional Executive Committees respectively, and wishes the comrades all the best in ushering their new responsibilities.

"We call on all members and structures of the ANC in these two regions to respect the outcomes of the conferences and support the leadership collective elected, in order to build a strong united ANC, capable of advancing and defending the National Democratic Revolution.

"We remind all members of the ANC in the province of the declaration of 2017 as the year of Oliver Reginald Tambo, and the year of deepening unity."

He said that the PEC further appreciates the visit paid by the President Zuma, to both regional conferences, where he "gave clear marching orders on the need to build a strong united ANC capable of overcoming the present challenges facing the organisation and the movement in general".

Mabuyane said that ANC Eastern Cape PEC further acknowledges the sterling work done by the Regional Task Team (RTT) that was appointed in the Nelson Mandela region.

"Their task was to ensure that they take the region to its elective conference and afford all branches of the ANC an opportunity to participate in this process, a task they accomplished and steered with due diligence," he said.

"It was however disappointing to learn about the delays caused by the number of appeals on Branch Biennial General Meetings (BBGMs) and Branch General Meetings (BGMs), especially in the Amathole region.

"Such deprived delegates the adequate time to meaningfully use those platforms to deliberate on the challenges of the organisation and the movement in general.

"It is evident that more work needs to be done in fostering stability within and amongst branches of the organisation. The PEC prudently resolved to have these conferences convened as soon as possible such that it could timely identify problems such as the ones highlighted above, before its Provincial Conference scheduled to take place in July."