The leadership of the ANC in the Western Cape was this week on tenterhooks as the party’s top leadership moved in to investigate the state of the organisation in the province.
The ANC’s top six officials, including President Jacob Zuma, will be meeting ANC branches today to get a frank briefing from ordinary ANC members about the state of the party in the Western Cape’s six regions.
The meeting follows the disbandment of the leadership structure of the party’s biggest region in the province, the Dullah Omar region, which covers the Cape Town metropole.
The region was disbanded by the provincial executive committee (PEC) last month after it was accused of defiance, among other things.
It was replaced with a regional task team led by former ANC PEC and former Congress of the People member Leonard Ramatlakane, and includes former Hawks head Anwa Dramat.
The disbanded structure turned to the party’s headquarters and asked for an intervention.
ANC national chairperson Baleka Mbete will lead the team visiting the Dullah Omar region, while Zuma will be in Boland, the second biggest ANC region in the province.
The other officials will visit the remaining four regions.
ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa told City Press that the leaders will meet with all the branches – in good or bad standing – to discuss the state of the organisation in the region.
“They will then have a meeting with the PEC, whereupon those who went to the regions the previous day will give a report in the presence of the PEC,” he said.
Kodwa said the issue of the Dullah Omar region will be just one of the issues discussed in the context of understanding the state of the organisation.
He said that, after meeting with the PEC, the national working committee may decide to have its own meeting and make a decision on the future of the province, its regions and leadership, and make recommendations to the national executive committee about what should happen.
Over the past two weeks, rumours have done the rounds that ANC headquarters will disband the provincial leadership this weekend.
Kodwa said that, even if this were to happen, “you can’t talk about disbandment before you do an assessment of the organisation”.
City Press understands that the PEC has compiled a dossier to be presented to the national leadership that illustrates the alleged numerous occasions when the Dullah Omar leadership snubbed the provincial leadership.
One of the reports to be presented to the national leadership claims that the Dullah Omar region contested the outcome of the provincial conference, where the current provincial leadership was elected in 2015.
“This failure to accept the conference outcomes has underpinned the stance of the regional executive committee towards the PEC.
“This matter has been raised with the regional executive committee on numerous occasions and the PEC has consistently appealed for unity,” it reads.
The PEC will also blame the Dullah Omar region for the ANC’s dismal showing in last year’s local government elections in Cape Town, where the party managed to secure only 24% of the vote – the worst electoral performance by the ANC.
“As election results showed, the region lost ground to the DA and even the Economic Freedom Fighters. During the elections, it was clear that the region did not accept the authority of the PEC, and the little work it did was unilateral and with no reference to the provincial structures,” reads the report.
The PEC also blames factionalism as an “abiding character” of the Dullah Omar region.
City Press understands that the fact that leaders in the provincial structure want Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to succeed Zuma as the president of the ANC at the elective conference in December is compounding the division.
The Dullah Omar region is firmly in the Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma camp.