From the news desk

No rerun of ANC regional conference

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ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe decided at the weekend that the ANC’s Lower South Coast regional conference would not be held again, despite considerable unhappiness about its outcome last year.

Lower South Coast’s regional secretary Mzwandile Mkhwanazi confirmed that Mantashe was at the Port Shepstone Civic Centre on Sunday to deal with the region’s grievances and appeals.

He addressed disgruntled members who appealed the outcome of a regional conference that was held in November last year. Five branches participated in the meeting. They were Mlogwana, Gcilima, Richard Simoyi, Luziyana and Izinqoleni, as well as the chairpersons and their secretaries.

“Three weeks ago Gwede came here to listen to the five branches that were appealing the conference. He promised to come back to give us responses on the appeals and that is why he was here on Sunday,” said Mkhwanazi.

Mantashe apparently said it was clear that there were divisions in the region.

“He told us that it was not about the conference, but rather sorting out the factionalism affecting the party. He has asked us to be accommodating to the people who complained about the conference.

“He said the conference will not rerun and we should rather focus on unity,” said Mkhwanazi.

A source who asked not to be named since he was not authorised to speak to the media said he had received an invitation to the meeting from the provincial leadership on Friday.

“Gwede said mistakes made during the conference promoted factions and divisions in the region. He also criticised the province for putting KZN at risk by not counting the votes directly after the voting process.

“When he said the conference should not be rerun comrades were in tears, they were literally crying because they were shocked that despite the discrepancies he found, he would not rerun the conference,” said the party insider.

The source said the decision would cost the ANC in next year’s election.

“Comrades are saying that they will boycott the elections next year. That means the ANC will lose at least four municipalities in the region. The ANC in KZN is in a political crisis. There are appeals in most of the regions in the province,” he said.

ANC provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala was not immediately available to comment. News24

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