DURBAN, November 8 – Leadership of the African National Congress’ (ANCs) biggest province on Wednesday said its regions have thus far convened more than 60 percent successful branch general meetings and that to date about 30 appeals have been lodged.
An appeal is lodged when members dispute the outcomes or processes of branch general meetings.
KwaZulu-Natal’s 806 eligible ANC branches are convening to nominate delegates and leadership for the ruling party’s 54th national conference in December. Nominations have to be submitted by November 15.
“We are busy consolidating the appeals,” provincial secretary Super Zuma told journalists during a media briefing in Durban on Wednesday.
“We have received about 30 appeals. We got six from head-office yesterday.”
The appeals were being “processed”.
Some branches have chosen not to send their disputes to the party’s provincial structures and instead have been sending them to the ANCs headquarters Luthuli House, claiming the provincial executive committee (PEC) is “illegitimate”. Luthuli House, however, forwards the disputes to the party’s provincial structures.
Those viewing the PEC as illegitimate – the so-called ANC KZN rebels — said they are justified in their actions because of a ruling in September by the Pietermaritzburg High Court that found the party’s 2015 provincial conference – where the PEC was elected – to be unlawful and invalid.
During a media briefing last week, the rebels said 80 branches throughout the province had lodged disputes with the dispute resolutions committee.
The rebels are the official KZN lobby group punting Cyril Ramaphosa as the next ANC president while the PEC back Nkosazana Dlamin-Zuma. Both factions will meet in court again later this month as the PEC appeals the high court ruling and the rebels challenge that appeal.
Despite this, Zuma said that out-of-court “unity” talks between the two factions were progressing, although last Monday’s meeting had to be postponed because one person from the so-called rebels was out of the country.
“We are happy with the progress and it is a pity we could not have done more in terms of meeting,” said Zuma.
The talks are being conducted as three-a-side meetings.
When asked if he was happy about the progress made during the unity talks, Sthembiso Mshengu, who is the spokesperson for the Ramaphosa KZN campaign, said: “We are not supposed to be happy with the talks. As far as we are concerned, we are very far away from achieving what these discussions are meant to achieve.”
Mshengu said that discussions started about a month ago.
“We are committed to achieving some sanity within the ANC. We have no reason to be reserved about it. That is why we initiated these discussions in the first place,” he said.
He also said that they were not viewing the unity talks as being with members of the “illegitimate PEC”. “We are not treating them as PEC. We are treating them as comrades with whom we need to engage in discussions with.”