Western Cape ANC ready to elect new leaders

Written by Yazeed Kamaldien

Outgoing provincial ANC chairman Marius Fransman yesterday accused businessmen of attempting to bribe new leaders ahead of the party’s election this month.

These bribes were intended to secure business contracts in ANC-led municipalities in the Western Cape, said Fransman.

The province’s opposition party is heading for an internal election for new leadership from June 26 to 28 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).

Fransman and outgoing provincial secretary Songezo Mjongile spoke to Weekend Argus at the party’s city centre offices yesterday, where its provincial executive gathered.

Western Cape ANC secretary Songezo Mjongile  (left) and chairman Marius Fransman (right). Picture by Yazeed Kamaldien

Western Cape ANC secretary Songezo Mjongile (left) and chairman Marius Fransman (right). Picture by Yazeed Kamaldien

The executive met to discuss plans for the upcoming elections that would include appointing a new chairperson, secretary, deputies for both these positions, and a treasurer.

It is expected that 800 delegates would meet at the CTICC to vote for new leaders. New executive committee members would also be elected.

The current provincial leaders were appointed in 2011 after the factionalised executive was disbanded when the ANC lost governance of the Western Cape to the Democratic Alliance in the country’s 2009 national election.

Fransman said they had fought hard to clean up the provincial ANC of factionalism but found recently that businessmen and some insiders were intent on keeping them divided.

“There are business people outside the Western Cape who are trying to buy over branch delegates to pursue their own agenda,” said Fransman.

Mjongile said they “want to confront them”.

“We are seeing a tendency of people who have agendas and want to push money into the Western Cape to divide us… We are going to name and shame them,” he said.

Mjongile said businesses wanted to use politicians and ANC leaders to secure government contracts at a municipal level.

“We are not going to allow them to mortgage ANC leaders. We have to confront it head on, unashamedly,” he said.

“There is a difference between lobbying and factionalising. You are allowed to lobby (votes). But members must be allowed to freely elect people into leadership positions.”

Fransman added: “For the ANC to live, factions must die.”

Fransman and Mjongile said they had managed to “stabilise” the provincial ANC since their appointment by the party’s national executive committee.

“Historically, as we go to conference, there would be a lot of backstabbing… We had begun to unite the ANC in the Western Cape,” said Mjongile.

Fransman added: “We inherited a divided ANC… a downward spiral. In the public domain were fights… the ANC used the media to fight each other.

“We have not focused on our politics in the media but gone on with our work. You don’t see public spats in the media. You see a more stable environment.”

Both refused to comment on their leadership ambitions in the province, instead opting for a less-said-is-best response.

Fransman said: “Let’s wait for the branch structures to finalise their (nomination for leaders) process.”

“It doesn’t matter who takes over the leadership. It’s about having a policy and strategy. We are proud that we served the organisation.

“It is up to ANC members who takes them forward over the next five years.”

Mjongile added: “We have not seen the nominations.”

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About Yazeed Kamaldien

Self-employed journalist and photographer from South Africa.

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