ANC OR Tambo marches for regional general council
Members from 78 branches hand over petition to ANC’s regional offices
ANC members from 78 branches in OR Tambo marched to the party’s regional offices in Mthatha on Thursday, demanding that a regional general council (RGC) be held.
The region has not yet had a RGC but is scheduled to hold an early elective conference before the end of August, as mandated by the national executive committee of the ANC.
OR Tambo is one of four regions that will hold an early elective conference. The others are WB Rubusana, Chris Hani and Sarah Baartman. The marchers said they had nothing against convening an elective conference, but said there should be a RGC and that the position of regional secretary be filled. It was left vacant when Lulama Ngcukayithobi was elected provincial secretary.
“We want a RGC before the end of August to endorse an early regional conference,” they stated in a memorandum handed over by march leader Lawrence Mambila to PEC member Fundile Gade. “Organisational matters are suffering severely and general elections are around the corner. We want branch general councils that have been illegally done to be [halted] because no RGC convened to endorse an early regional conference.
“Some branches were not even convened but claimed to have been done. They must not be recognised,” read Mambila.
They also demanded that disciplinary action be taken against members accused of assaulting REC deployees and subregional members. “We are not fighting and we want to ensure the ANC goes to the 2019 election with its integrity intact.”
Gade said all regions should have convened conferences before July 31. The initial directive from the NEC was June but an extension was granted to July 31, and again the end of August. OR Tambo was scheduled for August 23-25.
“But now it looks like we will not be able to hold conference on those dates as for now we are dealing with disputes and appeals and that means that some of the branches [will have] to be redone. So that means that the regional conference may be delayed and postponed to a further date,” said Gade.
He said they had received 11 disputes and appeals by Thursday, most from the King Sabata Dalindyebo sub-region.
“The disputes include quorums, gate-keeping, publicity of BGM and some of members not shifted to part of the auditing process.
“The march shows the democratic process within the organisation and there is nothing sinister about the march. The PEC will sit and interpret the content of [the] petition.”
He said if the PEC did not meet the deadline set by the national executive, “we will have four regions led by task teams on very sensitive elective programmes of 2019”.