Coup bid against ANC regional task team

ANC Nelson Mandela Bay councillor Makhi Feni address policemen who wanted a group of ANC members to disperse outside Florence Matomela House
TOUGH TALKS: ANC Nelson Mandela Bay councillor Makhi Feni address policemen who wanted a group of ANC members to disperse outside Florence Matomela House
Image: FREDLIN ADRIAAN

As a group of ANC members announced they had overthrown the Nelson Mandela Bay regional task team — appointing a new leadership band — the party’s Eastern Cape bosses accused them of creating anarchy.

The group, who claim to represent 52 branches in the metro, protested outside the ANC’s Bay headquarters — Florence Matomela House — on Monday, condemning what they said was an ineffective leadership structure in the city.

They released a list with 25 names of people they said made up the new regional task team, insisting they would operate from the party’s offices.

Monday’s protest came a day after ANC regional co-ordinator Luyolo Nqakula gave Andile Lungisa 72 hours to resign as a councillor and to step down as a branch task team member of the Ward 2 branch.

The group’s leader, Nick Nama, said the gathering was not about factions but about rooting out corruption and replacing an ineffective regional task team.

Nama said the task team was fractured.

“We’ve written so many letters to the provincial and national executive committee and we’ve received no response.

“Today we’re saying enough is enough.

“You must support and endorse this new leadership because from now on you will receive communication from them,” Nama said.

ANC supporters, clad in ANC regalia, were dropped off at the regional office in several taxis.

Pointing to the regional office, Nama said the new regional task team would operate from there because there was only one ANC in the metro.

Nama said members of the ANC were being purged by the regional task team on a daily basis and this would stop.

In a letter to Lungisa on Sunday, Nqakula wrote that he was seeking the go-ahead from the party’s Eastern Cape bosses to temporarily suspend his membership of the ANC

Police told the protesters to disperse because they were flouting the Disaster Management Act as they were more than 50 in number.

ANC councillor Makhi Feni told the police the protesters would divide themselves into two groups, which they subsequently did.

Before the protest, on Friday, Nama wrote to ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule requesting that the RTT be dissolved on various grounds which includes allegations of personal protective equipment (PPE) corruption and impropriety by Nqakula and regional convener Nceba Faku.

The letter, which was shared during the protest, said the RTT had failed to build branches and deliver a congress.

Nama said the RTT had been overzealous towards council and coalition matters which were meant to be dealt with at a national level.

ANC provincial spokesperson Loyiso Magqashela condemned the protest.

“We condemn that kind of action because those branches know the power to establish and disband structures resides with the PEC (provincial executive committee) and not with them.

“They can write and express their views and pursue with the PEC ... their concerns.

“It can’t be about them just usurping powers they do not have.

“This creates chaos and anarchy within the structures because we then know the genesis of all this leads to action,” Magqashela said.

On Monday, Nqakula said it was not a coincidence that a day after the RTT had issued a letter to “a certain individual” there were protests.

He said some of the protesters wanting the RTT disbanded had a propensity of not wanting to subject themselves to the discipline, principles and value system of the party.

“It is anarchy at its best by people who have a propensity to create instability in the ANC, individuals who have a history of even taking the ANC to court up until the Constitutional Court.

“They consciously understand that the ANC is engaged in the deliberate task of renewal and they consciously understand that they will not exist in a renewed ANC because a renewed ANC would have eradicated all tendencies which are negative towards it and our people,” he said.

In July, SACP district secretaryLunga Nombexeza opened a case of fraud and corruption against Nqakula at the Humewood police station, claiming he had received R300,000 from a Free State company that was contracted by the city to deliver toilets to informal settlements.

Responding to the allegation of corruption, Nqakula said people went to the Humewood police station but no charges had been prepared against those who were accused.

“The ANC is very clear that those who are alleged and charged must step aside from positions of authority assigned to them by the ANC.

“Those who have been convicted must totally recuse themselves from the positions of responsibility assigned to them.

“We will not be shaken or intimidated in implementing the decisions of the ANC,” Nqakula said.

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