Kgalema Motlanthe warns ANC that factionalism is killing the party


The ANC electoral committee, led by Kgalema Motlanthe, presented a hard-hitting report to the party this week. It warned that factionalism between the CR17 and RET groups will lead to the downfall of the ruling party.

The Sunday Times reported that the former deputy president of the ANC and president of SA warned the national executive committee (NEC) this week that the two factions are killing the party.

The report from the electoral committee was critical of the selection process of ANC candidates that will take part in the upcoming local elections. The party missed the deadline in August for the candidate registration process. The ANC was given a reprieve by the Electoral Commission (IEC) and spokesperson Pule Mabe said the party was on track to meet the IEC’s new 21 September cut-off date.

The electoral committee’s report stated that factionalism was a major factor in the ANC not meeting the initial deadline. City Press reported on Sunday that the report claimed that alleged manipulations and transgressions in the selection and election of candidates around the country were to blame.

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Motlanthe said the manipulation of candidate lists appeared to favour whichever of these factions was in charge at provincial, regional and branch levels.

“During all the various stages of the candidate selection process, the electoral committee and its structures encountered fierce factional tendencies… slate politics and factionalism have been entrenched to epidemic levels within the ANC,” read the report.

The report further stated that the manipulation of candidate lists favoured whichever faction was in charge at provincial, regional and branch levels.

“Most, if not all, disputes lodged with the provincial list committees are due to factional battles manifesting themselves at ward level and driven by factional leaders at senior levels of the organisation.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa responded to the report by acknowledging the existence of the two factions in the ANC, and urged leaders to take a stand. He said party leaders can’t be seen to be leading factions.

“On the issue of factionalism, where comrades hide behind using other comrades’ names – my name, other comrades’ names – and it is worrying that it goes as the report says as high as … that is worrying. If we don’t deal with that, the renewal will never take off,” Ramaphosa told the NEC meeting.

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On Friday the ANC’s head of elections Fikile Mbalula said councillors found to have been nominated fraudulently and registered to contest the local government elections will be dismissed even after they were elected.

He said the ANC will continue with its dispute resolution process over the selection of candidates beyond the 1 November election.

According to Mbalula, the process could trigger by-elections, which meant those elected wrongfully and registered with the IEC would be replaced.

Compiled by Gareth Cotterell

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