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Tensions in the ANC after ANC Nelson Mandela Bay REC disbanded

By Afikile Lugunya - Nov 20, 2018
Tensions in the ANC after ANC Nelson Mandela Bay REC disbanded

Tensions were high at the African National Congress (ANC) Florence Matomela offices after the party's Eastern Cape Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) moved ahead with a decision to disband the ANC Nelson Mandela Bay Regional Executive Committee (REC) on Monday evening and replaced it with a Regional Task Team (RTT).

Former ANC Nelson Mandela Bay Regional Secretary, Themba Xathula, ended up having to address local ANC branch members, who converged outside the ANC Nelson Mandela Bay’s head offices at the Florence Matomela building, on Tuesday in protest.

The ANC branches are adamant that they do not recognise the authority of the Task Team.

The building has been under lock down since Tuesday morning, with security guards preventing ordinary people from entering the building while the "new leadership" held a meeting.

As in the ANC Nelson Mandela Bay REC’s previous statement, Xathula said he believes that the decision to disband the REC was a premature one.

Basis for disbanding ANC Nelson Mandela Bay REC

In October, the ANC in the Eastern Cape said that it received a detailed report of the various Provincial Working Committee visits to the Nelson Mandela Region, the report detailed the challenges facing the organisation in the region.

"In the main, the report revealed that the region for three consecutive branch audits has not been able to meet the 70% threshold of branches in good standing," said ANC Eastern Cape Provincial Secretary, Lulama Ngcukayitobi.

"The region was unable to convene a duly constituted Regional General Council in order to fill the vacant position of the Regional Chairperson due to its failure to meet the 70% threshold of branches in good standing."

He said that the report also detailed a significant decline of membership in the region as per the most recent membership audit.

"Elections work in the region has been moving at a snail’s pace and with very few of the Nelson Mandela REC members actively participating in elections work.

"The PEC noting that a considerable amount of support has been given to the Nelson Mandela REC, but this has not yielded any results and the situation in the region is not getting better," he added.

"The PEC in this regard cautiously resolved to dissolve the Nelson Mandela REC and establish the Regional Task Team that will coordinate the work of the organization and take the region to its regional conference post the 2019 general elections."

Ngcukayitobi said that the PEC further adopted the following guidelines for the establishment of the Regional Task Teams and tasked the PWC to consider suitable names for the appointment into the Regional Task Teams.

Still, ANC Nelson Mandela Bay REC disbanded without protocol’

He said that the necessary meetings that are needed to disband the REC did not even sit.

"Our branches were denied their rights by the PEC and did not participate in the process to elect their representatives to parliament," he described.

Xathula added that they are still waiting for the ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC) to come down to the Bay and engage them on the matter of the disbandment.

The strange thing about the whole debacle, according to Xathula, is that all the people, who said the disbandment of the REC must continue, when a regional conference, was held are now part of the new Regional Task Team.

Here is the list of members of the RTT.

Apparently, some of the members on the list do not even know that they are part of the RTT.

“They asked us individually that we must form part of the RTT - and there was not even a political decision on how to enter into the RTT moving forward,” he described.

“That raises questions of what kind of an ANC is that?

“We will wait for the National ANC leadership to tell us what must happen.”

He added that it is up to the local ANC branches to decide the way forward and whether the new leadership will continue doing their work or to that they stop.

'ANC Nelson Mandela Bay REC did miracles'

Xathula also said that the ousted REC had managed to do miracles in the Bay and had produced results without the help of the ANC in the Eastern Cape.

The ANC, after lending its votes to a bid to oust former Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, Athol Trollip, and the then Democratic Alliance (DA)-led coalition, found itself back in power just two years after it was defeated by the DA at the 2016 Local Government Elections.

He said that it was unusual that the ANC Eastern Cape PEC was disbanding them only months before the 2019 general elections.

Xathula said that the truth to come out, adding that they are a threat because they don't want corruption and were working hard.

He urged for unity amongst ANC branches in the Metro.

Main image: Former ANC Nelson Mandela Bay Regional Secretary, Themba Xathula.

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