ANC Nelson Mandela Bay expected to announce position on Andile Lungisa
The African National Congress (ANC) in the Nelson Mandela Bay has called for a media briefing in the afternoon at its Florence Matomela House offices in Port Elizabeth where it is expected to announce the future of its recently elected Regional Chairperson, Andile Lungisa.
The party has kept mum on what its National Executive Committee (NEC) decided on the matter of Lungisa's controversial election when it met over the weekend - if it did discuss the matter.
Lungisa had appealed to the NEC arguing that both the national and provincial structures that were calling on him to resign from the chairmanship, had erred in interpreting a rule in the party's Constitution that said party members in higher structures are not allowed to hold positions in lower structures ,which they are supposed to supervise.
Still, as the ANC NEC prepared to meet, Secretary-General, Gwede Mantashe, had dismissed questions on whether the committee will discuss Lungisa's election.
Speaking in an interview that was posted on the ANC Eastern Cape's Facebook page last week, ANC Eastern Cape Provincial Secretary, Oscar Mabuyane, said that the ANC's Eastern Cape PEC was caught off-guard by Lungisa's decision to contest at the regional congress.
Mabuyane said that since last year, Lungisa had denied rumours of him being nominated to contest in the election and he was well aware of the PEC's position on the matter, which was re-emphasized to him and other ANC cadres.
He said that on top of that, ahead of the regional congress, Mantashe did advise regions on what the party's Constitution says - it forbids leaders in higher positions from competing for positions at lower levels.
Despite all this, Lungisa shocked every one and went ahead to accept nomination and went on to win the election as new Chairperson. Lungisa beat his rival, Tony Duba, by 14 votes after garnering 71 votes.
Mabuyane said that the PEC met with the newly constituted Nelson Mandela Bay Regional Exceutive Committee (REC) and discussed with them, among other things, Lungisa's chairmanship.
It was then agreed that he cannot remain in the position and was sent a letter on Tuesday last week, advising him that he should resign.
Mabuyane also said, unlike Lungisa's arguments that it was wityhin his rights, the party was ultimately had the final say and its constitution must be upheld.
He had said if Lungisa does not resign, the ANC consitution specifically spells out defiance of party orders as misconduct and they will take it from there.
That was when it emerged that Lungisa had appealed the order to resign.
Lungisa is a former National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) head and a former ANC Youth League deputy. He was elected to the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Council following the August 2016 Local Government Elections.
He was identified as the person, who threw a water glass that landed Democratic Alliance (DA) Portfolio Councillor for Roads and Transport, Rayno Kayser, in hospital with a deep cut to the head following a brawl at Council Meeting in October last year.
Under Lungisa are:
1. Deputy Chairperson - Phumzile Tshuni
2. Secretary - Themba Xathula
3.Deputy Secretary - Desiree Davids
4.Treasury- Mbulelo Gidane
Despite, Lungisa defying Mantashe, his election was seemingly endorsed by President Jacob Zuma, who visited the conference and said Lungisa had shown "quality, energy, and consistency", which is what the party needs.
Speaking at that conference, Zuma had said the party finds itself in trying times and needs leaders, who can deliver on programmes and policies. In Lungisa's case, he said that the majority had spoken.
Lungisa now has provincial secretary post in sights
Some media reports on Monday quoted sources within the party, who said the NEC had instructed that Lungisa steps down from the position of ANC Nelson Mandela Bay Regional Chair.
He is now rumoured to be positioning himself for the position of Eastern Cape provincial secretary.
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