Divisions in the Western Cape ANC were laid bare on Sunday as two groups battled it out with song outside a venue where President Jacob Zuma met party leaders in a bid to mend cracks in the party.
Zuma was initially set to visit the Boland ANC region but‚ in a last-minute change of plans‚ he ended up meeting with the Dullah Omar region‚ the biggest in the Western Cape‚ which encompasses the Cape Town metropole.
Zuma is part of a top-six delegation that is currently in the province to deal with factions in the party.
The visit comes after four regions called for the disbandment of the provincial executive committee following a decision to sack the Dullah Omar regional leadership.
As Zuma was engaging with party leaders inside the venue‚ some ANC members were busy singing outside and brandishing posters.
One poster read: “We support Disbandment of the D.O.” Another read‚ “JJ must fall”‚ referring to Dullah Omar regional secretary JJ Tyhalisisu.
“Faiez Jacobs [provincial secretary] must go‚” said a third poster‚ while one more blamed the provincial secretary for not going to branches.
The group carrying an anti-Jacobs poster also sang songs calling him a dog that was destroying the ANC.
When contacted for comment‚ Jacobs said the provincial leadership was barred from commenting on the visit.
Dullah Omar regional chairman Xolani Sotashe could not be reached as he was still in the meeting at the time of writing.
Party supporters who spoke to TimesLIVE on condition of anonymity said Zuma’s change of plans was because the Dullah Omar region supported his ex-wife‚ Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma‚ who is campaigning to take over leadership of the ANC from Zuma in December.
“It’s clear he is here because they support his candidate. We don’t understand why the national leadership is intervening on the disbandment of the region‚” said one supporter.
Another said the disbandment of the Dullah Omar region was a foregone conclusion and the only battle now was for the disbandment of the provincial leadership.
“You can see that’s what they [Dullah Omar regional leadership] are pushing for. They want the province to also go‚” said another ANC member.
ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa could not be reached for comment.
On Monday the top six will meet with the provincial leadership in a gathering that is expected to be heated.