Zuma, top brass to visit divided Western Cape ANC

Top six to consult about reasons for disbanding Cape Town metro leadership

Zuma, top brass to visit divided Western Cape ANC

12 July 2017

Cape Town - The ANC's top brass will pay a visit to the regional and provincial structures of the Western Cape ANC this weekend, amid growing factionalism in the region.

The ANC's top six, headed by President Jacob Zuma, will make stops this weekend in all of the party's six regions to consult about the provincial executive committee (PEC)'s reasons to disband the Dullah Omar (Cape Town) metro leadership two weeks ago, and over calls by some regional leaders to disband the PEC.

The meetings with the regions are set to take place on Sunday, and a final meeting with the PEC will take place on Monday.

The six leaders will be meeting individually with one of the six regions.

"We are hopeful that the collective leadership of the top six will give our structures the necessary political impetus, organisational direction and guidance," ANC West Coast spokesperson Sammy Claassen said on Tuesday, as they prepared to host the six.

The top six are: ANC president Jacob Zuma, national chairperson Baleka Mbete, treasurer general Zweli Mkhize, secretary general Gwede Mantashe, deputy secretary general Jesse Duarte and deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa.

A province divided

Two weeks ago, five of the six regional leaders in the province broke ranks with the PEC and called an impromptu press conference to express their unhappiness that the PEC had allegedly "met in secret" to strip some of the regions of their powers.

This after the province's policy conference meeting that weekend was disrupted by metro regional members, demanding that information be shared with them.

The leaders claimed the PEC had not followed procedures in disbanding the Cape Town metro leadership.

They claimed the move was part of a larger plan to send their preferred delegates to the ANC's policy conference, and that they had been unfairly labelled the "Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma faction".

The PEC hit back, slamming those individual leaders who had left their meeting early to hold the unauthorised press conference for undermining elected structures.

The PEC did not meet in secret. It was a continuation of their policy meeting, provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs said the next day.

Cape Town metro election defeat

The regional leaders, supported by a minority of provincial leaders, were deliberately trying to disrupt the renewal of the party in the province, Jacobs said.

It was "gross misbehaviour" - after failing to convince the majority of their position, he said.

The PEC disbanded the party's Cape Town metro leadership, saying they had "for some time" experienced resistance from those who did not "want to accept the authority of the PEC".

They had also experienced the worst electoral defeat in the city, and their data showed that the Cape Town leadership had put in the "least effort" to canvass voters in the metro, he claimed.

He also said the leadership was not representative of the metro, with only six of its 55 councillors being coloured, and no white representatives, despite the two groups forming over 80% of the populace combined.

The leaders would remain in their positions as councillors in the municipality.

A task team of 25 ANC members would be put in place to lead the party in Cape Town until a regional executive congress was held within six months.