A storm is brewing in the ANC in Nelson Mandela Bay amid allegations that members of a Motherwell branch manipulated the outcome of a general meeting to favour a specific slate ahead of the Eastern Cape elective conference.
ANC members of the Ward 54 branch claim the meeting – which took place two weeks ago – was not properly constituted as it did not have the required 231-member quorum needed for it to sit.
The members claim that those in attendance chose a new branch leadership regardless of not making the numbers, and they allegedly elected five members to represent the branch at the provincial conference to be held in East London from August 30.
Simphiwe Dayimani, who believes he is still the branch secretary for Ward 54, said they were informed at the last minute that a branch meeting would be held on Sunday July 30.
“They elected delegates who support the campaign of Phumulo Masualle for provincial chairman and Andile Lungisa for provincial secretary.
“They also took a decision to go and get people’s signatures in their homes so that they can reach the quorum,” Dayimani claimed.
An ANC member of the Motherwell branch, Miliwe Kilibi, claimed she had been visited by another member at her house, who had told her about the branch meeting.
“She said they are going around asking for signatures from some of the members who were not present and she asked me to sign the register as well.
“I told her that what she’s asking for is illegal and she agreed but begged me to sign. I then refused to sign, then she left my place,” Kilibi said.
Other members, Ntombomzi Kortjan and Nonzwakazi Hletyiwe, said they were visited by a Nozuko Blouw, who was elected in the meeting as the new branch secretary.
“Nozuko Blouw came to my house carrying a book and asked me for my date of birth, my age and said they were checking up on me,” Kortjan said.
“She then said I must sign next to my name without telling me what I was signing for exactly.”
Hletyiwe said Blouw and another woman had told her about the meeting and offered to arrange a car to take her there.
“I refused to go because the person that looks after me was not there and I know these meetings often end up in fights.
“After the meeting she came back again and paged a book. She said they just want to verify my name and after that they left.”
Blouw denied visiting those ANC members in their homes and said if they had a case against her they should report it to the party structures.
She referred further questions to branch chairman Morgan Tshaka, who also called for those making the allegations to produce evidence.
He accused Dayimani of being behind the move and said: “He has been leading all kinds of disgruntled protests. He has a vendetta because he lost the election to become the ward councillor.”
Meanwhile, ANC regional secretary Themba Xathula has lashed out at members for raising their grievances with the media, accusing them of being ill-disciplined.
“There are internal processes that are being followed. We are busy with those processes.
“It is ill-discipline to take party internal matters to the media.”
Xathula accused Dayimani of removing himself from the party.
“He sent me a text message where he said he won’t be participating in the party activities and now he has gone to the media about party internal matters,” Xathula said.
Dayimani denied that he had resigned, saying he had only sent a text message to Xathula complaining he was not informed about arrangements for the ANC’s national policy conference in Johannesburg.