Magashule pacifies KZN branch members during blockade of Luthuli House

26 October 2018 - 17:47 By Zimasa Matiwane
ANC secretary general Ace Magashule promised to take their grievances to the national working committee on October 29 2018
ANC secretary general Ace Magashule promised to take their grievances to the national working committee on October 29 2018
Image: Supplied

ANC members from the Moses Mabhida region in KwaZulu-Natal on Friday blockaded both entrances to the party’s headquarters‚ demanding that secretary-general Ace Magashule attends to their demands.

Branch leaders representing 78 of the region’s 88 branches staged a sit-in at Luthuli House because they want the national executive committee (NEC) to allow their regional conference to go ahead.

They are demanding that the NEC forgo its resolutions that no conferences should be held after the August 31 deadline and that any other matters linked to the election of new leadership will be attended to after the 2019 general elections.

“We demand that the NEC set a date for [the] Moses Mabhida regional conference within the next 14 days as we believe that will be the only solution to challenges we are facing as a region‚” Umngeni sub-region secretary Sthembiso Nkuna said.

Speaking on behalf of the disgruntled branches‚ Nkuna further explained that the lack of elected leadership in the region had led to anarchy and was stalling election campaigning.

“We respect the NEC‚ but we strongly and correctly believe that the conference must sit. We have gone over a year with interim structures that are being dissolved and constituted‚” he said.

The branches also accused the provincial executive committee (PEC) of factional interference.

“This RTT [Regional Task Team] is not balanced; they do not even respect branches; they are being imposed on legitimate branches of the ANC by the PEC‚” Nkuna said.

He charged that the members were willing to take the party to court if it failed to listen to their pleas.

“If all internal party processes get exhausted and we get no joy‚ perhaps the legal route will be an option. We are here to plead with the national leadership and engage out of court. But if they are adamant that they do not want to respect us‚ court will be our last resort‚” Nkuna said.

The branches‚ which are aligned to the disbanded regional leadership of Mthandeni Dlungwane and Mzi Zuma‚ have demanded to re-elect these leaders.

“We are here independently as branches‚ but indeed we are saying we want them to lead us. We have no shame in that; we don't want these imposed individuals‚” Nkuna said.

Eight hours after their arrival‚ Magashule addressed the group and discouraged them from approaching courts. He promised to take their grievances to the national working committee on Monday.

“I can commit on behalf of the NEC that your matter will be heard. We will ensure that we go there [to the Moses Mabhida region] during the week to engage so that we get out of the courts. We will come together with the provincial leadership. There is also a special NEC next week and your matter will also be heard‚” he reassured.