Andile Lungisa has stepped down as ANC Nelson Mandela Bay regional chairman with immediate effect.
The announcement was made by ANC Regional Secretary, Themba Xathula at Matomela House in Port Elizabeth on Monday.
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The ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) meeting, which ended yesterday, agreed that Lungisa should step down.
This comes after he was elected ANC regional chairman earlier this month, a position he was not eligible to stand for as he was already a member of a higher party structure.
He had apparently stood for the position in defiance of ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe and accused Luthuli House of misinterpreting the rules.
An NEC official said some members, including former ANC Youth League treasurer Pule Mabe, who had defended Lungisa, were defeated at the meeting.
Lungisa has now set his sights on the position of provincial secretary, held by Oscar Mabuyane, who is believed to be vying for the position of chairman, now occupied by Eastern Cape premier Phumulo Masualle, at the provincial conference in July.
Lungisa said yesterday he was “no Mickey Mouse” politician and was confident of success should he challenge for the provincial secretary post.
His plan to vie for the position paves the way for a fierce battle.
His declaration came in the wake of reports that President Jacob Zuma, who flew to Port Elizabeth to congratulate him after his election as regional chairman, had reportedly backed him at the NEC meeting.
“If the NEC says ‘out of this difficulty you must step down’, I will. Then I will become provincial secretary,” Lungisa said. – Additional reporting by Natasha Marrian