CAPE TOWN – The Western Cape ANC’s provincial executive committee has resolved to disband the party’s Cape Town metro leadership.
The ANC in the province held a policy discussion sitting for most of Saturday before it was disrupted at 22:30 by branch members from the Cape Town metro, provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs told the media on Monday.
The meeting was ahead of the ANC national policy conference that gets underway on Friday in Johannesburg.
Acting chair of the meeting Maurencia Gillion and Jacobs both communicated before 00:00 that the sitting would reconvene to drive through the remaining agenda items.
Police had to be called in to end the disruption, and the sitting only reconvened at 02:00, with 23 of 35 PEC members still present.
Other leaders unhappy with the PEC’s resolutions had left of their own accord, but the meeting “was still quorate”, Jacobs said.
The remaining PEC members agreed by majority that the Cape Town metro leadership should be dissolved, and it was a decision “not taken lightly”, he said.
The PEC had for some time experienced resistance from the metro’s leadership, who did not “want to accept the authority of the PEC”, he said.
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.
The blatant attempts to divide the organisation had left the province “no choice but to disband the Dullah Omar (Cape Town) regional executive committee”, the PEC resolved.
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.
Province hits back
The PEC also slammed those individual leaders who had left and then held their own impromptu press conference on Sunday that undermined elected structures.
Some leaders of five of the province’s six regions claimed on Sunday that the PEC was not following procedure, and making unilateral decisions in the early hours of the morning without consulting them.
They accused the PEC of wanting to send their preferred delegates to the ANC’s policy conference on Friday, and they had been unfairly labelled the “Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma faction”.
READ more: ANC Western Cape deeply divided ahead of policy conference
Jacobs on Monday said the regional leaders, supported by a minority of provincial leaders, were deliberately trying to disrupt the renewal of the party in the province.
“It has now become custom in the province that when the minority fail in a PEC-meeting to convince the majority of their opinion, that such disagreement and dissent is expressed publicly to create an aura of chaos and instability.
“Worse is that his minority, a group of individuals, exploit relations with individual leaders in other regions and structures to further divide those regions,” Jacobs said.
He stressed while there is nothing wrong with leaders disagreeing on policy, leadership or societal issues, it must be done through the proper channels.
The leaders were there only as individuals, and undermining the PEC’s authority was “gross misbehaviour”, Jacobs insisted.
They were deciding on disciplinary measures for those who had violated the party’s policy.
Jacobs said that they had written to both the Cape Town metro leadership and the ANC’s national executive committee explaining the PEC’s resolutions.
They would wait for the NEC to instruct the province further but were very confident that the party’s constitution was on their side. The metro leadership were entitled to appeal.
The PEC’s resolutions and stances on policy would be represented at the national policy conference this week. It is largely seen as an occasion to gauge support for the ANC presidential candidates ahead of the December elective conference.
Provincial spokesperson Lionel Adendorf added that it was not uncommon for the PEC to sit until 05:00. They had an agenda to get through before the national policy conference in Johannesburg on Friday.
Jacobs finished by saying that they were determined to restore faith and good governance in the Western Cape ANC, and would not be deterred by rogue factions.
“It’s no secret that the ANC, for a long time, has been inwardly focused, and been fighting with each other around resources, and not focused around helping people.
“Our leaders must become servant leaders and must be held accountable, and held to the best examples.”
The Cape Times reported on Sunday that the rogue leaders had convened their own secret meeting at the Townhouse Hotel just down the road in Cape Town, paid for by the police ministry. Deputy Police Minister Bongani Mkongi’s chief of staff Jabu Mfusi was party of the faction.
The Democratic Alliance on Monday said Police Minister Fikile Mbalula must recoup every cent from Mkongi for the hotel accommodation.
PHOTO: © News24 Western Cape ANC secretary Faiez Jacobs. (Paul Herman, News24)