Luyolo Mkentane email@example.com
A GROUP of ANC members protested outside the Port Elizabeth City Hall yesterday where secretary-general Gwede Mantashe had a meeting with party officials.
Mantashe was in the city to discuss issues pertaining to discipline, relations between ANC structures and deployees in government, and the functionality and vibrancy of the party, regional secretary Zandisile Qupe said.
As the meeting, attended by the regional executive committee [REC], branch chairmen and their secretaries, got under way, a group of ANC members protested outside the City Hall, waving placards reading “Nceba Faku must go!”
Faku is chairman of the REC at the ANC’s regional offices, Standard House, in Govan Mbeki Avenue.
One of the protesters, ANC ward 41 deputy secretary Vuyani Siziba, said: “These are branches of the ANC. They are here to support the meeting called by Mantashe.
“But they are also here to raise to the S-G [Mantashe] issues regarding the manipulation of ANC membership by the REC and the manner in which the REC is conducting the branch general meetings [BGMs] in the build-up to the regional elective conference.”
Siziba said for the BGMs to take place there needed to be both provincial and regional executive committee deployees. “But the REC is conducting BGMs without provincial executive committee [PEC] deployees. They are doing that for their own ends,” he said.
PEC deployees needed to ensure that proper party procedures were followed at BGMs.
The outspoken Siziba said: “This is a peaceful demonstration. We have a mistrust of the current leadership. We want Mantashe to know about these issues, that we are unhappy about this REC leadership.
“We love the ANC but we are saying Nceba Faku must go away. They are killing the ANC [in this region].”
He also questioned the “the so- called audited report that says there are about 2175 ANC members in the Nelson Mandela Bay region”, saying: “We believe we are more than that. Ward 41 alone is the biggest ANC branch in the Eastern Cape.”
ANC member Gcobani Mphathi said that leaders should adhere to the constitution of the party at all times and not flout it to achieve their own ends.
Some ANC branches have been calling for Faku and Qupe to step down ahead of the party’s elective conference in May, where a new leadership will be elected.
ANC member Dion Msimanga, who is campaigning for former safety and security MEC Thobile Mhlahlo to become regional chairman, said: “Both of them, [Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Zanoxolo] Wayile and Faku, must go down.
“They don’t consult ANC branches, both of them. They rely on their own wisdom. The ANC doesn’t belong to them, but to us.”
But union federation Cosatu said last week it had taken a resolution that Wayile should be elected as the candidate for the regional chairman post. He is currently Faku’s deputy in the REC.
The protesters’ attempts to have Mantashe listen to them were in vain.
“He said it was not his responsibility to address them,” Qupe said.
“He said they should go back and address these issues at branch level – that’s what we are also saying.
“The branches of the ANC know what’s happening in the REC.”