As the 24-hour deadline ticks away for African National Congress (ANC) branches to complete nominations for the party leadership ahead of the December elective conference, at least 70 percent of branches have managed to conclude the process.
ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe confirmed on Tuesday that there would be no deadline extensions for provinces lagging behind, but that there would be ”a grace period” until the weekend.
”Provinces are expected to complete this process by the deadline of tomorrow, 15 November 2017. We note challenges of convening BGMs (branch general meetings) during the week and have agreed to a grace period to, at the very latest, the end of this weekend, Sunday 19th November 2017, to complete all BGMs,” Mantashe told reporters in Johannesburg following an extended ANC national executive committee (NEC) meeting.
”This is done to allow sufficient time to consider appeals, all of which must be lodged within 48 hours of the disputed BGMs, and to prepare for the provincial general councils.”
At least 5 240 voting delegates are expected at the much awaited conference in Johannesburg in mid-December. Ninety percent of them would be delegates elected at branches.
As the conference draws nearer, disputes over elected regional and provincial leadership continue to mar the governing party. Teams have been appointed to attend to disputes in KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape and the Northern Cape, said Mantashe.
He rubbished reports that ANC NEC member Fikile Mbalula was placed in charge of resolving the Eastern Cape’s disputed election outcome.
”The NEC resolved to institute an appeal panel in the Eastern Cape which will be composed of four NEC members supported by three (technical resource persons). The four NEC members are comrades Sbu Ndebele (chairperson), Rejoice Mabudafhasi, Joyce Moloi-Moropa and Sdumo Dlamini…there is no other person but these four names only.”
Regarding KwaZulu-Natal’s lower South Coast region, which has emerged as backers of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, Mantashe said the NEC received the region’s report on its appeal against its disbandment by the KZN Provincial Executive Committee (PEC).
”The region was, however, expected to continue doing its work in all other areas, including the overseeing of BGMs as we prepare for conference. After deliberation on the report, the NEC resolved to affirm the decision of the PEC that the region must convene a regional conference within six months… the PEC shall exercise oversight over the municipality.”
The elective conference, where President Jacob Zuma’s successor will emerge, will be held in Johannesburg next month.