Pakati in two-man race with Mkolo for ANC chair position

BCM mayor Xola Pakati.
BCM mayor Xola Pakati.
Image: File

The battle for control of the ANC in Buffalo City Metro will likely be a two-man race, as some members in the region want mayor Xola Pakati to remain as chair, but most want suspended regional secretary Pumlani Mkolo to succeed Pakati as chair.

The Dispatch can reveal that of the 21 branches which held successful branch general meetings so far, 16 want Mkolo to be the new Dr WB Rubusana chair.

These include wards 1, 6, 8, 13, 45, 26, 22, as well as ward 13.

“Only ward 44 in Breidbach has so far nominated Xola [Pakati] as chairman, and four branches have opted not to field anyone as chair as lobbying continues towards the elective regional meeting,” said a senior ANC regional leader.

Highly contested is the regional secretary position with four names having been nominated. Topping the regional secretary position nomination is former Congress of South African Students (Cosas) secretary-general Antonio Carlise with 14 nominations from the 21 branches which had held BGMs by the time of going to press.

Only ward 44 in Breidbach has so far nominated Xola [Pakati] as chairman, and four branches have opted not to field anyone as chair as lobbying continues towards the elective regional meeting.

Second to Carlise is another Mkolo ally, Sindile Toni, who has secured nominations as secretary in wards 29, 31, 50 and 46.

The third Mkolo ally who has been nominated as regional secretary is former Buffalo City councillor Mlandeli Mateke who secured nomination in wards 20 and 22. But a high-placed source said Mateke is likely to withdraw from the race

Intense lobbying is likely to continue this weekend as the ANC’s Calata House bosses have not yet decided when the elective regional meeting will be held.

It remains unclear how the ruling party will handle Mkolo’s dominance in the race as he has been on suspension from any active involvement in ANC activities since his suspension in February 2016 as Dr WB Rubusana secretary.

This was after he was arrested, along with other ANC leaders, for their alleged involvement in the misuse of more than R5.9m earmarked for Nelson Mandela’s memorial services.

Failing to retain the position of chair will be suicidal for Pakati, as it was a similar regional conference which resolved not to allow the “two centres of power”, a conference resolution which saw Pakati, once elected as ANC chair, being a shoo-in as ANC mayoral candidate in BCM for the 2016 local elections.

Acting regional secretary Mkhawuleleli Maleki confirmed to the Dispatch this week that auditors have finalised their report on the status of branches in BCM and that since July 20 , ANC branches in BCM have been having their branch annual general meetings, as well as BGMs, where leaders are being nominated and delegates to the conference are being elected.

If the trend of branch nominations is anything to go by, Mkolo will outclass Pakati at the conference.

Pakati refused to comment on nominations by ANC branches.

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