ANC to deal with factionalism - Gwede Mantashe

SG says that, so far, there is nothing to report on the so-called Premier League

The party had commissioned a review of its internal electoral system, he said.

"The organisation, at all levels, must be consumed with the restoration of discipline within our ranks and ensure there are consequences for deviant behaviour," he told reporters in Johannesburg following a national executive committee meeting at the weekend.

"Preoccupation with internal challenges distracts the ANC from defining the type of society we envision and working together with our people, building it."

This comes at a time when there have been allegations of interference in the ANC Women's League and ANC Youth League congresses by a strong lobby group in the ANC dubbed the "premier league" which wanted to advance certain leadership ambitions in the mother body.

The "premier league" was said to be made up of three ANC provincial chairpersons who are premiers - North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo, Free State Premier Ace Magashule and Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza.

Mantashe on Monday said the matter of the so-called "premier league" would be dealt with in the broader debate on factionalism.

He said the ANC would verify the veracity of the group. However, he could not understand how three premiers could "take over" the ANC.

"Where are the other people? Are they sleeping on duty?" Mantashe asked.

"We deal with those matters quietly... so far there is nothing we can report on the so-called premier league.

"That issue we will debate within the broad debate on factionalism," he said.

Battle lines drawn

The ANC NEC also came out against what it called "unbecoming and divisive tendencies" in the KwaZulu-Natal ANCYL.

The league had made public statements on decisions of the ANC and had sown division through pronouncements against certain leaders in the province.

Battle lines have been drawn between two camps, one supporting current KwaZulu-Natal chairperson Senzo Mchunu and the other supporting current provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala.

Fierce campaigning for the highly contested position started with lists of preferred candidates circulating on social media.

It is understood that there is a lobby-group in the province which wants to unseat Mchunu and have him recalled as premier.

Mantashe announced that the KwaZulu-Natal elective conference would take place from November 5-8.

The rerun of the contentious eThekwini conference would be held from October 24-25.

Deployees to KwaZulu-Natal had been beefed up with a team of 10 NEC members to assist with the management of branch general meetings and processes leading up to both conferences.

With a little more than two years to go until the ANC elects new leaders, Mantashe made it clear that ANC members were not to pronounce on succession until such a process was initiated, in line with the organisation's guidelines.

This was also a warning to the ANC Women's League which had made pronouncements that it would support a woman for the position of president.

"In 2017 we will elect a president of the ANC - it may be a female or male. [We're] asking please wait. It is distracting us and defocusing us."

This article first appeared on News24here