The next battle in the ANC’s elective conference will be the issue of credentials with Cyril Ramaphosa supporters accusing Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s provinces of Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal of inflating the number of their delegates.
An national executive committee member told the Mail & Guardian on Saturday night that Ramaphosa’s supporters were preparing to raise the matter inside the plenary meeting currently taking place at Nasrec, Johannesburg.
The NEC member said that the Ramaphosa supporters want to know why KwaZulu-Natal’s membership suddenly shot up to more than 900 delegates when they were allocated 870.
“Besides, they have about 100 branches disqualified, so we will want to minus the hundred branches from 870,” the member said.
“We will go through each and every name on the credential list to make sure that everyone who’s there is allowed to be a voting delegate. Ramaphosa supporters have accused [Fikile] Mbalula, [Jessie] Duarte and [Nomvula] Mokonyane for allowing the Dlamini-Zuma’s provinces to inflate delegate numbers.”
With this dispute, the NEC member said he was no longer sure if the conference could continue.
Earlier in the day, the Mail & Guardian visited the the delegate accreditation centre at the University of Johannesburg. Just as the ANC was preparing to open its elective conference, the doors to the delegates’ accreditation centre at the main entrance to the building were shut. A notice on the doors indicated that registration was closed at 1pm “by order”. The conference was set to officially open at 2pm.
But David Moholo, who is from Ward 14 and chairperson his branch in the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality in Klerksdorp, North West, remained standing outside the UJ entrance. He said that “bogus delegates” had been allowed into the conference.
Moholo had been accredited to go to the conference, but there were others who had entered the Nasrec under false pretences, he said. They had claimed to be from his branch, but they were not, he said.
“They went to the national conference and we didn’t elect them. The branch never said: ‘we want these delegates’,” Moholo told the Mail & Guardian.
“We didn’t elect anyone [else] to come to the conference.”
According to Moholo, he had sent letters to both the North West provincial secretary and the office of secretary general Gwede Mantashe, but received no response.
On Saturday morning, Mantashe had visited the UJ accreditation centre where Moholo had attempted to lodge a dispute.
“He said to us people [who] sent letters, we will help them at Nasrec. But we are late for Nasrec,” Moholo said.
His branch was among those from the North West who were allowed to attend the conference. On Friday, the high court in Mahikeng had ruled that the Bojanala regional conference and the general branch meetings of 40 branches should be set aside.
Moholo said that there were more irregularities, however, and Dlamini-Zuma supporters had used their “power” to attend the conference without a nomination.
But Moholo wasn’t the only disgruntled member outside the UJ building.
Another ANC member, Segomotso Mooketsi, revealed that her and her colleagues from Ward 38 in Dr Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality were at UJ to lodge a dispute against the legitimacy of three delegates appearing at the conference. She claims that her ward failed to successfully hold a BGM.
“Those that are here shouldn’t go to conference. They shouldn’t go there because we didn’t choose them,” she said. “On 12 November there was a BGM. The 350+ members were there. The BGM didn’t continue because the lights went out in the community hall. The lights went out so we didn’t form a quorum.”
Mooketsi says that the ward attempted to hold the BGM the following week, but again to no avail. “It was decided to have the BGM on the 19th. We did go there, but there was no deployee.” A deployee from the regional office is required to oversee the nomination and selection process.
“Now all of a sudden these ladies are here. There is these delegates. How? We don’t know. Where did they hold the branch? We don’t know. There was no lights at the hall and we didn’t form a quorum.”
Another ANC member, Mogapi Marumo, offered up a very similar story. He alleges that councillor of Ward 24 in the Dr Kenneth Kaunda district, Tebogo Mike Mabulela, should not be attending the conference because again a successful BGM was not held.
“On two accounts we failed to hold a BGM,” he said. “The first attempt was on the 4th of October. We were there from 2pm until after 12am – the early hours of the next morning.”
He claims a delegate on the day was not finalised.
“Then on the 29th we held a BGM but the deployee was not there. When I arrived there, there was SABC TV and radio,” he said.
No-one was elected after the BGM ended in chaos with people being chased away and the venue being shut down. But he was soon puzzled when he heard that a delegate was being sent to the conference.
“Only to find out that on Monday when we went to the regional office to ask when we were going to have a BGM, it was declared that we already have a delegate. We became so puzzled. This is not how ANC operates. It is very unethical. They are having their own ANC This thing shows that cleary someone from the top is watching,” he said.