25/06/2017 14:36 SAST | Updated 25/06/2017 14:36 SAST

Factional Battles Plague The ANC In The Western Cape

"People think they own the ANC, people who do not subscribe to the traditions of the ANC."

The ANC in the Western Cape is deeply divided ahead of the party's policy conference.
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The ANC in the Western Cape is deeply divided ahead of the party's policy conference.

The ANC Western Cape's leadership problems have taken a new turn ahead of the party's national policy conference in Johannesburg on Friday.

Leaders of five of the six regions in the province are unhappy that some provincial executive committee members allegedly met in secret on Sunday morning to strip some of the regions of their powers.

The group, comprising leaders of the Cape Town metro, Boland, Overberg, West Coast and Central regions, held an emergency press conference in Cape Town on Sunday.

They claimed the PEC wants to disband the Cape Town metro leadership, and see the Boland region stripped of some its powers. They were not following procedure, and making unilateral decisions without consulting the regions and branches, the leaders said.

The move is part of a larger plan to send their preferred delegates to the ANC's policy conference on Friday, they claimed, and they have been unfairly labelled the Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma faction.

Speaking out
"We all know there is a problem in the organisation, even national has pronounced, of factional battles that must be rooted out," ANC Cape Town metro chairperson Xolani Sotashe said.

"People think they own the ANC, people who do not subscribe to the traditions of the ANC. We would be failing if we did not speak out against these things. We have been disciplined enough."

The province has struggled with leadership for over a year, after the National Executive Committee declared in June last year that the PEC should be disbanded and caretakers be put in place.

Sotashe said they have been very disciplined up until now, but that those PEC members tasked with leading the province as caretakers, are dividing it.

They claimed regional secretary Faiez Jacobs, ANC NEC member Derek Hanekom and the Unity in Diversity caucus of the province are behind the actions.

"We are not going to allow them to manage regions. They must be given the space to lead their different regions," provincial deputy secretary Thandi Manyikivana said.

"We are saying in this conference enough is enough. It is up to the NEC now to also ensure they protect the name of the ANC in the Western Cape."

They will write to the party's national leaders to plead with them to intervene, as the PEC is risking having "no ANC at all" in the province if it continues in this fashion.

Provincial policy head Nomi Nkondlo said the province needs to convene a special PEC to finalise its policy positions before the national conference, as the current standing is not binding according to the ANC's constitution.

It would not be good if those delegates sent to represent the branches are reduced to mere cheerleaders, especially given the important items on the agenda such as land and economic transformation, Nkondlo said.

Acting provincial chairperson Khaya Magaxa on Sunday said he was not aware of the media conference on Sunday.

Provincial secretary Jacobs said they will be releasing a statement later on Sunday to address the claims.

Several other provinces, including the Eastern Cape, are also holding provincial policy conferences this weekend ahead of national conference. -- News24