Ekurhuleni ANC branches angered by REC's support for NDZ

Branches in the region wanted to nominate another candidate, but it is not yet known who

Ekurhuleni ANC branches angered by support for Dlamini-Zuma

31 August 2017

Johannesburg – At least three ANC branches in Ekurhuleni have rejected their regional executive committee’s decision to back Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to become the party’s next president.

"We condemn this action by the REC. They are purposely trying to strong-arm us," Ward 16 branch chairperson Andrew Baloyi said on Wednesday. He said REC chairperson Mzwandile Masina’s support for Dlamini-Zuma did not reflect the views of the branches. Ward 18 and 19 branch secretary Dennis Mtina said the REC had to consult branches.

The REC on Tuesday said it would support Dlamini-Zuma to replace Jacob Zuma as ANC president at the party’s elective conference in December. This was due to her "unwavering commitment" to radical economic transformation, REC deputy chair Robert Mashego said.

The region admitted it had yet to consult its branches.

The branch leaders told News24 they would ask the ANC’s Gauteng provincial executive committee to intervene. Baloyi said branches had been calling for a regional general council (RGC) to iron out differences in the party's regional structures and to discuss Masina's influence on the REC. Only through the RGC could the region announce its preferred candidate, he said.

"He (Masina) has never called for an RGC since his election. He knows that we wanted to remove him in the last sitting. His calls to delay the RGC are a desperate attempt to go to the elective conference as chair of the region. "There are many branches that are very angry."

Masina is apparently one of the few in the province who is still loyal to President Jacob Zuma and, by extension, Dlamini-Zuma.

Baloyi told News24 that branches in the region wanted to nominate another candidate. He would not say who.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is favourite in the province. The ANC and ANC Youth League in the West Rand had already named him as their preferred candidate.

Mtina said ANC regional secretary Theliswa Mgweba's absence during Tuesday’s announcement was a sign that the ANC leadership was not in agreement. "If it was a collective decision, why did the secretary not communicate with the media? Why did the deputy chair speak?

Mtina said Mashego did not want Masina as REC chair, but he supported the REC’s decision because he wanted to get on the ANC’s national executive committee in December.

The REC announced it would propose that Mashego get a seat on the ANC’s national executive committee during the elective conference in December.

Mgweba said she would follow ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe’s instruction that candidates could only be nominated after September.

Efforts to reach Masina were unsuccessful.