Disgruntled ANC members in Mangaung threaten to disrupt Free State elective conference

A group of disgruntled African National Congress (ANC) members from the Mangaung region in the Free State is accusing the party’s Interim Provincial Committee (IPC) of frustrating and delaying convening Branch Biennial General meetings ahead of the provincial elective conference. Speaking during a media briefing in Bloemfontein, the group wants the NEC to intervene.

The ANC in the Mangaung region is once again at loggerheads. Disgruntled members are accusing the party’s Interim Provincial Committee (IPC) of not cooperating with them. They have threatened to disrupt the upcoming provincial elective conference that is expected to take place by end of this month, if their demands are not met.

They have also threatened to interdict the national elective conference, if branches’ rights to participate are sabotaged. They say the IPC has failed to comply with the mandate to rebuild the organisation and take the province to the conference. One of the ANC Mangaung regional committee members is James van Vollenhoven.

“There is a roadmap that is adopted and the IPC seems not to be implementing it. They are busy disbanding branches and rejecting the 25 branches out of 51 branches in this region, that have successfully convened by AGM all of which are gathered here today. Instead of abiding by the court order, the IPC issued a further extension of branch membership,” says van Vollenhoven.

The ANC’s Interim Provincial Committee in the Free State is disputing allegations that they have rejected some of the Branch Biennial General meetings in the Mangaung region. IPC’s spokesperson Oupa Khoabane says they’re working with all the branches to ensure proper procedures are followed.

“We’re trying to ensure that our branches follow the processes so that we minimise and avoid litigations. In a situation where there will be questionable issues in relation to the branch conference, obviously such a branch will then be subjected to proper processes. So at the moment there are no specific branches that we say that we’re rejecting, this and that, but we’re only saying branches must follow proper processes,” says Khoabane.

The ANC’s Interim Regional Committee (IRC) in Mangaung region says since all regional Branch Executive Committees had existed beyond their two year term of office, they decided to put in place Interim Branch Committees to prepare for branch conferences. The IRC’s chairperson Lawrence Mathae clarified that only constitutional structures such as these Interim Branch Committees can prepare Branch Elective meetings, ahead of the provincial elective conference.

“This was done with a view to avoid legal battles that would take place as a result of an unconstitutional structure presiding of branch processes. The 25 BBGMs were conducted by structures that are illegitimate and unconstitutional. The region is expected to hold its elective conference during mid-September or at the latest, by the end of September,” says Mathae.

The ANC’s IPC says it is focusing on taking branches to the elective conference and has distanced itself from threats of disrupting conferences made by the group.

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