Defiant Andile Lungisa appeals order to resign; fate now rests with the NEC
The African National Congress' (ANC) new Nelson Mandela Bay Region Chairperson bought himself some time when he appealed against the order from the ANC Eastern Cape Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) that he resigns from the post by Thursday. His appeal will now be heard by the ANC's National Executive Committee, which meets over the weekend.
The PEC had threatened Lungisa with disciplinary action should he fail to resign.
Speaking to EWN, ANC Eastern Cape Spokesperson, Mlibo Qoboshiyane, says they hope the ANC NEC meeting will provide direction.
“We’ve taken a decision to allow his appeal to the NEC to consider the matter,” he said.
It seems ANC leaders are devided on the issue. The ANC Youth League in the Nelson Mandela Bay on Thursday advised Lungisa to instead resign from the PEC and retain his position as Regional Chairperson of the ANC in the Nelson Mandela Bay.
Speaking to reporters, the convener of the ANCYL's regional task team in the Bay, Luyolo Nqakula, it is indeed a fact that the constitution of the ANC prohibits its leader from holding leadership positions in two or more of its structures as this will creates a conflict of interest from those who supposed to supervise others.
However, there is nothing in the constitution that says a member of higher ranking cannot contest a lower ranking position, adding that the decision to remove Lungisa is both unconstitutional and devoid of political conscience.
Nqakula added that the ANCYL in the Bay believes that both the national and provincial officials have misinterpreted that rule and its aims.
The ANCYL will now only accept the verdict of the NEC.
Calls to resign
Speaking in an interview that was posted on the ANC Eastern Cape's Facebook page, 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 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, ANC Secretary General, Gwede 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 rivalTony 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 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.
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 endorsed by President Jacob Zuma, who visited the conference and said Lungisa had shown "quality, energy, and consistency", which is what the party needs.
Zuma said the party finds itself in trying times and needs leaders, who can deliver on programmes and policies. In Lungisa's case, the majority had spoken.
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