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ANC in last-chance saloon, Makhura tells Joburg delegates

ANC Gauteng chairperson David Makhura. File picture.
ANC Gauteng chairperson David Makhura. File picture.
Image: FREDDY MAVUNDA

ANC Gauteng leader David Makhura begged delegates at the party's Johannesburg regional conference on Saturday to come up with strategies to rescue the party before the 2024 national and provincial elections.

“This conference is meeting to prepare for war, the battle of the 2024 elections, and also to work out a strategy of how do we regain power and public confidence in Johannesburg, because that [DA-led] coalition in Joburg is extremely fragile,” Makhura told delegates in Centurion.   

The ANC lost control of all Gauteng metros in the 2021 local elections and performed dismally this week in by-elections, losing wards to the DA and EFF. 

Makhura said the time for factionalism was over.

“There is no time to fight among ourselves; there is no time for endless squabbles,” he said. “We have to prioritise, we have to come out of this conference with a sense of urgency.” 

The conference has had no disruptions, unlike the Ekurhuleni conference a week earlier where violence broke out. 

ANC Gauteng leader David Makhura addresses the party's Johannesburg conference in Centurion on June 4 2022.
ANC Gauteng leader David Makhura addresses the party's Johannesburg conference in Centurion on June 4 2022.
Image: Nonkululeko Njilo

Makhura lauded the discipline shown by more than 300 delegates from 120 branches.

“The environment here looks like an ANC conference, it looks like the Johannesburg we know,” he said.

“Even when you have differences on leadership you are not enemies. We can’t kill each other because we have disagreements.”

The conference was postponed twice after a car crash involving regional treasurer Mpho Moerane and to allow branches facing disputes to rerun their general meetings.

Moerane, who died a week after the crash, was due to go head-to-head with regional secretary Dada Morero on different leadership slates. The former friends allegedly had a fallout six months ago over the mayorship of Johannesburg after the local government elections.

Moerane’s position on the slate is now occupied by acting chairperson Eunice Mgcina. 

Her slate includes Justice Nkalonkulu as regional secretary, Loyiso Masuku as deputy secretary and Maxwell Metsamba as treasurer.   

A large group of delegates publicly declared their support for Morero and sang, “retlile mona go tlo go beya shoti warona” (“we are here to install our short man”). A smaller grouping chanted, “uzophatha uEunice” (“Eunice will take over”). 

Makhura urged those who do not get voted in to accept defeat and continue serving the organisation in their communities or other structures.  

“If you are a cadre you do work wherever you are and you don’t wait for a position, because you want change for the people,” he said.

“Restore the kind of ANC we are proud of. No delegates must feel threatened that they may be killed for holding a different view. Even after we suffer setbacks in local government. We must be committed to rebuilding the ANC, not interested in internal fights.

“2024 is around the corner and if we don’t pay attention to certain things — including the way we conduct ourselves and the image of the ANC that is not concerned about people’s concerns — we must forget about winning the elections.”

TimesLIVE


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