By Loyiso Sidimba | IOL |
Johannesburg – President Cyril Ramaphosa has warned that the ANC risked losing next year’s general elections if the governing party remained riddled with divisions.
Addressing hundreds of delegates at the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) national congress in Ekurhuleni on Friday, he said infighting had to come to an end.
“It (infighting) must end because we have a huge task of the 2019 elections,” he said.
Ramaphosa said unity in the governing party was imperative and that ANC structures had to stop colliding with each other. “We must be united if we want to win the 2019 elections,” he said.
His plea came a few hours after disgruntled ANC members in Limpopo filed an urgent application to interdict the provincial conference scheduled this weekend.
Three ANC members in the Peter Mokaba region, Molema Nong, Perkane Mamabolo and Mamotane Mangwale, want the provincial executive committee (PEC) chaired by Premier Stan Mathabatha to be interdicted and prohibited from commencing, participating, continuing, conducting elections, passing resolutions or taking any other action at the conference.
They want the court to declare all decisions already taken by the conference declared null and void.
The party’s national executive committee (NEC) acknowledged the work done by the provincial dispute resolution committee and NEC deployees to resolve complaints and disputes with affected structures and ANC members in Limpopo.
The NEC urged that these processes be concluded and decisions communicated to structures before the provincial conference sat.
This week, the ANC endorsed the election of its Free State PEC despite threats of legal action by members unhappy with the election of Sam Mashinini to replace ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, who vacated the position in December.
The NEC was optimistic that the challenges in KwaZulu-Natal could be resolved and directed the national dispute-resolution committee to continue work with the provincial task team to address the issues raised by disgruntled members who interdicted the provincial conference earlier this month.
It expressed hope that resolving the KZN dispute would render the legal contestation redundant.
In Gauteng, the NEC expressed its happiness with its deployees in attending to disputes and complains and encouraged all party structures to subject themselves to internal processes in seeking solutions to disputes.
Regional conferences in Gauteng will be held next weekend and the provincial conference by the end of next month.
Disgruntled ANC members protested outside the venue of the special NEC meeting in Tshwane, forcing Magashule to leave the meeting and address them.
Ramaphosa also warned that unity in the ANC had to be based on principle and not convenience.
“We can’t have unity if wrong things continue to be done in the ANC,” he said.
On Friday afternoon, NUM members started voting for new leaders and results were expected late on Friday night.