The ANC’s Amathole region has expressed confidence in the leadership of the party’s Eastern Cape chairman, Phumulo Masualle, and wants him to continue in the position come the provincial conference in July.
In their expansive declaration just before the marathon 28-hour conference came to an end, delegates declared: “We believe that the chairmanship of Phumulo Masualle is on a good course in turning our province and region for the better.
“We believe it is only wise that we give them another opportunity in the ANC, as an attempt to deepen, consolidate and advance our struggle of radically transforming our economy and institutions in the province.”
This came after re-elected regional secretary Teris Ntutu told Times Media he “still believes in the leadership of comrade Masualle” and that it was “no longer just my personal view that he must be given another opportunity”.
Ntutu, following his slate’s sweeping victory in the elections yesterday morning against former Fifa referee Ace Ncobo’s, said Masualle was their man.
The triumphant Ntutu said Masualle, who observed the conference in person in almost its entirety, was a unifier, hence their choice.
Ntutu, 35, got his time as regional secretary extended for three more years after he thumped Ndoda Ntlikithi by 173 votes to 88.
The same pattern of dominance followed everyone in his group, with Eastern Cape Liquor Board chief executive KC Maneli receiving 173 votes to Ncobo’s 90 for the chairman position.
The other Amathole top five officials are Sheila Xego as Maneli’s deputy, Zibuthe Mnqwazi as Ntutu’s deputy and Onke Mgunculu as treasurer, all of whom also won convincingly. Yesterday, Ncobo said the bruising defeat was not a red card to his political career.
He said he accepted the outcome, as the branch members had spoken and made their choice.
Pressed on what the defeat meant about his continued participation in politics, Ncobo said he would continue working from his branch.
“I am a secretary of Govan Mbeki branch in Mbhashe and nothing has changed.”
On why he declined the offer to be included in the additional members list, he said: “My decision was not meant to shun the elected leadership but I did not want to contaminate that space when delegates clearly made their choice.”
Ntutu said among his leadership collective’s first tasks was to grow party membership in the region from the current 21 770 as of last November.
ANC president Jacob Zuma, who spoke at the conference on Sunday evening, applauded the region for its growing membership.
From 13 260 in 2014, Amathole’s membership had grown by more than 8 000 by last year.