Let us deal with factionalism and the use of dirty money - ANC KZN

SACP provincial secretary says alliance cannot afford to be divided

Let us deal with factionalism and the use of dirty money - ANC alliance in KZN

20 October 2016

Durban – The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal and its alliance partners on Thursday admitted that they had come from a toxic era characterised by gatekeeping, the use of dirty money and factionalism.

"We all agree that that was very unfortunate and it is not going to take our alliance anywhere, hence we have agreed that we have to work together to fight the scourge of this toxic conduct," said South African Communist Party's (SACP) provincial secretary, Themba Mthembu.

Mthembu was speaking at a joint press briefing held by the ANC, SACP, Cosatu and Sanco at the ANC's provincial office in Durban.

The alliance held a provincial alliance summit at the weekend where it discussed various issues including the local government elections, cadre deployment and economic transformation.

"The national executive committee (NEC) has already mapped out how we are going to deal with unfortunate incidences that led up to our conferences and the list processes in the lead up to the August 3 elections, hence the deployment of these teams to all provinces and we all commit ourselves to co-operate positively with those teams in order that we can rid ourselves of anything that may dent our alliance and individual organisations," he said.

Mthembu was referring to the ANC NEC announcement on Thursday that it would this weekend begin the dispute resolution process to address the manipulation of the list processes that occurred in the lead-up to the elections.

Independent candidates

At the weekend NEC members will be deployed to the Sekhukhune and Waterberg regions in Limpopo, Bojanala Region in the North West and the Nelson Mandela region in the Eastern Cape, the party said in a statement.

In KwaZulu-Natal, prior to the elections, more than 200 independent candidates registered with the Electoral Commission of South Africa [IEC]. According to reports, 57 came from Durban.

It was believed that many of them broke ranks from the ANC after the controversial provincial conference which took place in Pietermaritzburg last year which saw Sihle Zikalala become the party's provincial chairperson and another conference which followed later which saw Zandile Gumede elected as the regional chairperson.

Former provincial chairperson Senzo Mchunu, who was the premier, was subsequently axed.

Several people were also killed in what was believed to be politically-motivated killings ahead of the elections.

Mthembu said if there are admissions that something went wrong in the list processes, the errors should be corrected.

National team to deal with issues

For example, he said, there would be by-elections in Umhlathuzi where there were challenges.

"Candidates stood in a ward only to find that it was the wrong ward hence the ANC said we need to start afresh. The candidates will go and stand in the correct wards, we expect that where it is established that a candidate was imposed, rather than risking public protests over a period of time, let's rather correct the situation because we don't want to sit with tensions and conflict."

"We cannot afford a divided alliance and individual partners," Mthembu said.

ANC provincial secretary Super Zuma said the party's national teams would work with the already existing provincial teams to look at the issues that were raised by branches that could not be attended to before the elections.

He said the national team would deal with specific wards in the province.

"It is not like the teams formed for the Nkosazana [Dlamini-Zuma] commission which looked at all the issues. This team will look at specific wards where we need to go back and correct things."

Court action

Some of the issues raised by branches were concerns of processes leading up to the provincial conference, candidate selection processes, gatekeeping.

"There are areas where we are saying moving forward to the national policy conference, as KwaZulu-Natal, we need to make some submissions that will talk to how we can strength our guidelines so that they can be better interpreted, other things may need constitutional review."

When asked if the alliance had discussed the court action taken by some members, believed to be in former premier Senzo Mchunu's faction, who challenged the outcomes of last year's provincial conference, Zuma said the alliance did not discuss the matter.

"The matter is sub-judice. The ANC will respond to some of the issues pertaining to the matter but the alliance did not discuss the matter," said Zuma.

Cosatu's provincial secretary, Edwin Mkhize, said after the Dlamini-Zuma commission, many people complained that the alliance did not act on the findings.

"As the commission, we are willing to correct the mistakes we made," he said.

This article first appeared on News24, see here