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ANCWL members sing during an election campaign. File picture: ALAN EASON
ANCWL members sing during an election campaign. File picture: ALAN EASON

The ANC Women’s League in the North West has suspended three of its top officials over allegations of defrauding the organisation of more than R2m. 

The decision was taken by the league’s provincial executive committee (PEC) at the weekend after it received a report on the matter.

The PEC has resolved to suspend Women’s League North West provincial chair Fetsang Molosiwa, provincial secretary Bridget Tlhomelang and treasurer Manketse Tlhape.

Acting provincial secretary Bitsa Lenkopane told TimesLIVE that there was no choice but to suspend their party membership temporarily pending an investigation.

“We came to a realisation that there is an element of fraud, if one is to put it that way, and other related elements that amount to conduct that [caused] us to put the comrades on suspension pending finalisation of an investigation that we are conducting.”

The website reported that it has been informed that the provincial ANC Women’s League’s bank account had an amount of R2.4m in 2019, but the PEC was shocked to find it reduced to about R46,000 without a proper explanation.

“It is unfortunate because we have always been told there is no money each time we needed to do organisational work,” said an official who asked not to be identified.

Lenkopane did not confirm nor deny the amounts mentioned.

“I cannot elaborate on that in the media space because I respect organisational discipline, but the fact of the matter is that the … PEC was left with no option but to suspend their membership.”

The trio were signatories of the account. Lenkopane lambasted the transactions they made. “This is not even an act in the organisation, but an element of crime or fraud. It cannot be the Women’s League promotes fraud and corruption while we are [at the] forefront of speaking against these social ills.  

“The league had, in 2019, resolved for the signatories to be changed, but this had not happened due to delays and excuses. Where we are now is that comrade Bridget has been active in the accounts of the organisation, there have been transactions that were made between the three," Lenkopane said.   

Molosiwa has since issued a statement criticising the suspension as a “blatant procedural flaw”.

“The purported suspensions of the provincial chair Fetsang Molosiwa, provincial secretary Bridget Tlhomelang and provincial treasurer Manketse Tlhape have no standing in the Women’s League.

“Furthermore, the suspension of the administrator also has no standing. The letters received by these leaders indicate that the Women’s League provincial working committee suspended them. A blatant procedural flaw in accordance to the Women’s League constitution,” she said.

Molosiwa moved to “clarify” that the suspension was not duly endorsed by the PEC. 

Lenkopane, however, maintained that the validity of the suspension and that due internal processes were followed in handing them the suspension letters. 

At the time of the transactions, Tlhomelang had resigned from the league. Meanwhile Molosiwa said Tlhomelang had since returned to office and the move had been endorsed by PEC officials, with Lenkopane now relieved of her duties — a remark that has since caused confusion and division.   

The league has distanced itself from the remarks.

“We call on the league’s suspended members to adhere to the conditions of their suspension and take their case to the organisation’s internal processes to prove their innocence and raise whatever concerns they may have with the organisation.

“Their public stunt is a breach of their suspension conditions, and just attempts to circumvent the organisational internal disciplinary machinery and or collapse the processes in their favour,” said the league.

The account of the league has since been frozen with a criminal complaint expected to be opened soon.

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