ANC leaders fail to resolve Western Cape infighting
The ANC’s national working committee, including top-six leaders, fail to broker peace between warring factions in the Western Cape
There is still no resolution to the infighting that threatens to cripple the ANC in the Western Cape, despite marathon talks on Monday between the party’s national leadership and the provincial executive.
The party’s national working committee, including top-six leaders such as President Jacob Zuma and secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, were in the Western Cape at the weekend in an attempt to broker peace between the warring factions.
However, no resolution could be reached and national leadership would now set aside two days next week to continue with talks, said ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa.
"The meeting was postponed … we want to hear all sides … and we want to make sure that when we come out of this we have a stronger and united ANC in the Western Cape that will be ready for 2019," said Kodwa.
The ANC in the province has been rocked by divisions and infighting in recent years, which has had a cost at the polls, with the DA increasing its majority in the province.
The infighting is seen as a proxy battle in the race for the ANC presidency between the main contenders, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Zuma’s ex-wife.
The suspension of ANC provincial leader and Zuma backer Marius Fransman earlier in 2017 further divided the party. The ANC found Fransman guilty of abusing his position to gain "sexual favours" from his former personal assistant Louisa Wynand.
He also made public statements which the ANC argued brought the party into disrepute. He was suspended for five years.
At the heart of the latest internal feud is the controversial decision by the provincial executive committee to disband its biggest region, the Dullah Omar, which includes the Cape Town metro. A task team has since been tasked with leading the party in Cape Town until a regional executive congress is held later this year.
The Dullah Omar region is said to be backing Dlamini-Zuma for the presidency.
The Dullah Omar region is said to be backing Dlamini-Zuma for the presidency. Provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs said last month the region was disbanded because of insubordination, stoking divisions and for its dismal performance. Jacobs said the provincial executive was empowered by the party’s constitution to disband regions.
But five of the party’s six regions have called for the provincial executive to be disbanded, accusing it of imposing its decisions without following due procedure.
The provincial executive, which is said to be supporting Ramaphosa, has also been accused of wanting to dictate which delegates from the province will be sent to the ANC’s elective conference in December.
The party’s 350 branches will be tasked with selecting delegates who will represent the province at the conference.
By sheer weight of numbers, KwaZulu-Natal is the most influential province in the ANC, while the Western Cape is the second smallest after the Northern Cape.