ANC needs more top officials – Mahumapelo

Increasing top officials from six to nine would make it able to steer the ship better

ANC needs more top officials – Mahumapelo

15 June 2017

Johannesburg – The ANC in the North West province wants the party to consider increasing its top officials from six to nine, arguing that this will help deepen unity in the party.

Leaders in the ANC have admitted that there are different factions in the ANC, which have intensified as it moves closer to its 54 th national elective conference in December.

ANC provincial chairperson Supra Mahumapelo told News24 this week that they believed more top officials would be able to steer the ship better.

"This will give us space to discuss unity of the organisation, so we can accommodate different tendencies and different schools of thought that are there in the ANC," said Mahumapelo.

He added that the move would broaden the pool of cadres who ascend to the top of the party.

Mahumapelo said his province's general council needed to focus more on amendments, such as the one he had suggested, before they concerned themselves with the names of leaders who needed to take over.

Mahumapelo, who also doubles as premier of the platinum rich province, is often seen as one of President Jacob Zuma’s allies, and is expected to back the president’s former spouse Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s bid to replace him, although he says that is not his focus.

"When we go to the 2017 conference, there must be no contestation in the officials, all provinces must discuss as we are discussing now, and with the leagues," said Mahumapelo.

He also told News24 that he did not see the need for a separate consultative conference, which stalwarts and former leaders of uMkhonto weSizwe had been calling for.

"We don’t need a consultative conference. It doesn’t exist in the constitution," Mahumapelo told News24.

'These comrades have many issues'

He said, if the party was to push ahead with a conference not allowed for in the constitution, it would end up with egg on its face should members take it to court.

"We shouldn’t be fixated on labelling. What we must be concerned about are the issues. These comrades have many issues to raise; why don’t they bring them to the policy conference," he asked.

He even suggested the old guard put together a document they could present to different structures across the country.

Mahumapelo said he had asked General Siphiwe Nyanda, former MK chief of staff, about the problems they wanted to discuss, but was told they needed to go discuss them, and then report to the ANC.

"They never came back to us. I also asked him [Nyanda] what the legal status of decisions they resolved on would be. They don’t have one," said Mahumapelo.

Meanwhile, a grouping of former MK members, under the name MK Council, have released a statement announcing that they would hold their own military veterans conference in August.

This after an attempt to work with the uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association failed in June. The MKMVA held its 5 th congress without the former leaders. It's chairperson Kebby Maphatsoe, who is now referred to as president, was re-elected.

The MK Council has also faced criticism, with some questioning why they had been absent from the ANC for so long, and why its members were inactive in the structures of the MKMVA.