Former mayor says he has no plans to be chairman – but insiders say he is lobbying
Former Bay mayor Nceba Faku rubbished claims by ANC members yesterday that he was campaigning for votes ahead of the party’s elective conference next year.
Meetings he had hosted were aimed at restoring the ANC’s good name, he said.
Faku said he had been holding quiet meetings with different ANC members in the Chris Hani, OR Tambo, Buffalo City, Joe Gqabi and Bay regions – but not to drum up support.
Party insiders who attended the Bay meeting on Sunday at the Nangoza Jebe Hall in New Brighton, however, did not agree, saying Faku was indeed lobbying for the ANC provincial chairman position ahead of the conference to take place in June.
A branch leader, who did not want to be named, said: “There were discussions about the constitution of the ANC. But he is also lobbying – he asked for support and the people responded saying they will back him.”
Another branch leader said: “He is lobbying and comrades are backing him for next year’s conference.”
Faku would compete with big names like premier Phumulo Masualle and ANC Eastern Cape secretary Oscar Mabuyane for the position of chairman.
But Faku was adamant yesterday that the meetings were not about him.
“This thing is not about names, it is not even about my name for that matter. It is about turning the ANC around, reinstating its values and regaining the trust we are losing from our people on all fronts,” he said.
“That is the thing that messes the ANC – people who push names, promote names but with no political agenda.”
Faku said the meetings were between concerned members of the ANC in the province who were lobbying for change.
“Our activity is about bringing back ANC politics and values, whether on choosing leaders, service delivery or interacting with structures of civil society.
“We are not a faction or ihlathi [bush]. We are just a lobby group for change that seeks to reinstate the confidence of the organisation.” Although he had not yet come out publicly about his hopes of being provincial chairman, Faku is reportedly garnering support in a number of regions.
A branch leader in the Sarah Baartman region said Faku had approached him and other regional leaders asking for backing at next year’s conference.
“He does not stand a chance, though. Five regions in the province are backing Mabuyane for chairman.
“Giraffe [Faku] is right to lobby but he disappointed people when he decided to resign and focus on his businesses,” the leader said. Joe Gqabi regional secretary Mfundo Bongela said he had not heard about the meetings in his region.
“I am not dismissing that they had the meetings but we have not heard anything as the regional leaders,” Bongela said.
Faku said the visits to regions were purely about fixing the ANC which was facing a crisis.
“We are busy looking for comrades who think like us, calling on them to say we need to muster some courage, otherwise this thing will sink forever,” he said.
“We are not looking for people who are going to elect Faku.”