ANC branch list ‘exclusions’ spark tensions
ANC branches in four provinces had to deal with problems that saw several high-ranking party members being omitted from lists in their own branches or placed in others.
This comes as branches have until November 26 to nominate their preferred candidates ahead of the ANC’s elective conference in Mangaung next month.
Though faults discovered in the national member audit appear to be “human error”, those who want Kgalema Motlanthe to replace Jacob Zuma as ANC president accuse the party’s national audit team of rigging the audit to bolster Zuma’s chances for re-election.
The problems have been experienced in Eastern Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and North West.
High-profile leaders such as Gauteng ANC chairperson Paul Mashatile, national executive committee member Lindiwe Zulu, former police commissioner Bheki Cele, North West ANC chairperson Supra Mahumapelo, secretary Kabelo Mataboge and provincial executive committee (PEC) members Raymond Elisha and Magome Masike were left out of their branches’ audited lists.
The faulty audits contributed to creating tensions that turned violent at some branch meetings.
On Thursday evening, the ANC eThekwini Ward 74 (Lamontville) meeting was postponed after confrontations because Cele and 84 other members were excluded from the branch’s membership list.
The branch and the eThekwini region had earlier in the week agreed that the 85 would be added, but the agreement broke down after regional executive committee deployee at the meeting, Stanley Dladla, failed to produce an amended list.
A large police contingent was called in and the meeting was postponed.
A North West party member is recovering in hospital after he was allegedly shot by a regional party leader in the Dr Ruth Segomotso Mompati region as a result of violence associated with the faulty audits.
Another member in the region got away with stitches to his shoulder after he was stabbed with a broken bottle outside a court where the shooting case was heard.
Individuals whose names do not appear on audited lists need to prove at the beginning of a branch general meeting (BGM) that they are paid-up ANC members before they could be allowed to participate.
Mahumapelo said 17 of his branch members appeared on a list of another branch, but he defended the audit team, saying the discrepancies were “not deliberate”.
He said: “It’s not malicious at all. It’s got nothing to do with Mangaung. If it was a Mangaung thing, why are
people like us who are known to be supporting the president also affected by that?”
He said pro-change lobbyists were using genuine mistakes to campaign against Zuma.
The national audit team conducted the audit using membership forms from provinces and then compiled attendance registers that are then sent back to provinces for use at BGMs.
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said members whose forms were not submitted for audit would not appear on the list as their forms could “not be manufactured now”.
He said the audit team could only verify what it had at the time of the audit.
But some prominent leaders renewed their membership at the ANC’s head office, adding to audit problems, he said.
Mataboge said though he was “shocked” by the absence of his name, he is confident the problem will be corrected.
A pro-change North West PEC member said: “If you’re not on the attendance register you can’t participate (at a BGM). You’ll be an observer. This is what has been causing violence in BGMs.”
According to ANC Gauteng spokesperson Nkenke Kekana, a way around the problem has been found.
He said: “We are using what is called a supplementary form for those who can prove that they are members in good standing, and later during the audits these get added.”
About 10% of branches in Eastern Cape have been affected by discrepancies, said provincial secretary Oscar Mabuyane.