DURBAN, June 7 – The highest decision-making body of the African National Congress (ANC) has said it is confident that KwaZulu-Natal is ready for this weekend’s ANC provincial conference.
“A provincial conference is the responsibility of the National Executive Committee, the NEC has discussed the provincial conference and there is a consensus that they have met all constitutional requirements, so the conference is going ahead,” said NEC member Nocawe Mafu on Thursday.
Mafu, who is also the convenor of deployees in KwaZulu-Natal, was speaking at the party’s provincial head office in Durban alongside Provincial Task Team (PTT) convenor Mike Mabuyakhulu and coordinator Sihle Zikalala.
The provincial party currently has no official leadership structure. Instead, it has been run by an interim structure since January after the NEC suspended the provincial leadership. This was the result of a court case that had challenged the 2015 provincial conference and thus the legitimacy of the ANC KwaZulu-Natal leadership.
However, the interim structure consists of the same members who made up the suspended provincial leadership, leading to some disgruntled regions and branches maintaining that they would still be kept from internal party processes because of factionalism.
This weekend’s conference – which takes place at the University of Zululand in the Empangeni area – is a re-run of the 2015 conference.
Also to be tackled at the three-day conference will be the implementation of policy decisions taken at the party’s national conference in December.
Mafu said that the NEC was “comfortable” that all constitutional requirements had been met for the conference to convene.
Zikalala said that the majority of the ANC branches in the province had held successful branch general meetings and any disputes that were lodged had been attended to. Branches that did not meet their audit requirements would not take part in the conference.
The regional executive committees of Harry Gwala (Kokstad area), Lower South Coast (Port Shepstone area) and Moses Mabhida (Pietermaritzburg area) had been disbanded, he said. REC members would be at the conference but as non-voting delegates.
All three of these regions have been plagued by political killings, generally viewed as intra-party disputes as members jostle for positions.
The national party leadership had been in the Moses Mabhida region on Wednesday, said Zikalala, and based on their report, it would be decided which branches participated in the conference.
Zikalala said that there was agreement that the province had to work towards the unity of the party. “Our priority now is to ensure unity as we move to the 2019 general elections.”
Speaking about the challenges in the run-up to the conference, Zikalala said: “We have been confronted by challenges, one being the killings of ANC members. It has created a climate of mistrust and suspicion amongst members.”
The party was cooperating with law enforcement to ensure no further lives were lost to political killings, he said.
“As the ANC, we are convinced that the Justice, Crime-prevention and Security (JCPS) cluster departments can halt these killings,” said Zikalala.
– African News Agency (ANA)