Ghost members haunt ANC
A membership verification process in the Eastern Cape ANC has revealed "ghost members" in the party's branches.
The party has now ordered branches to reconvene their annual general meetings.
Provincial and national party bosses said yesterday that dead people were signed up as new members to create branches that existed only on paper.
This emerged as the appeals committee, led by national executive committee members Fikile Xasa and Mnyamezeli Booi, met to consider appeals from branch members about annual general meetings.
Provincial spokesman Mlibo Qoboshiyane said the committee was expected to finalise the complaints yesterday so that pre-registration for conferences could start on Monday and the conferences the next weekend.
"It is clear there are people who signed for others though those people had died," he said, adding that some members swore affidavits to regarding "ghost" members.
While Eastern Cape battles with ghosts membership, other provinces have party list problems.
In North West, provincial leaders are said to be behind the launch of parallel branches.
A provincial executive council member, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: "I think there are more than 15 [parallel branches] in the province.
"They are even going to the extent of launching a parallel structure with a membership form of a person who died, so you can see how serious these people are.
"Someone died and they took a membership form of that person and launched a branch," the concerned member said.
He said that when the ANC's national working committee met in the party's Dr Kenneth Kaunda region on Sunday and Monday, senior leaders slammed provincial officials who are alleged to be behind the launching of parallel structures, which he said was tantamount to "dirty lobbying".
"During the visit of the committee, it was said, even the deputy president [Kgalema Motlanthe] said it was a concern that provincial general council members are launching parallel structures, and that provincial leaders are campaigning regional structures.
"He said it when he was making closing remarks that leaders of the ANC are the ones who are to blame for parallel structures.
"I got a report yesterday that a regional secretary launched a branch at a tavern with eight people. And [to start an] ANC branch you need 100 people, and eight people were called over to sign a register. It can't be correct," the concerned member said.
Makonde Mathivha, spokesman for the ANC in Limpopo, said that though there were no current reports of members launching parallel or "ghost" branches now, but had experienced problems leading up to the provincial conference in December.
"In the main, we had major problems in the Waterberg region. We had so many branches that had parallel structures and in certain but limited instances in Vhembe," he said.
Dumisa Ntuli, a spokesman for the ANC in Gauteng, said the province did not have the same problems as experienced in the Eastern Cape as they checked their data base regularly.
"We are very much aware of what people are up to, that is why we clean up our membership data system now and again.
"We don't want to have 'ghost' members taking part in our meetings," he said.
Abe Bekeer, the ANC's deputy chairman in Western Cape, said an auditing team from Luthuli House, the ANC head office in Johannesburg, had not yet started work in the province.