ANC lists furore at Nelson Mandela Bay Mar 24 2011 7:58AM
The SACP and Cope have been fingered in attempts to topple the regional leadership of the ANC in the Nelson Mandela Bay region.
The ANC has claimed “certain power-hungry” figures were behind the spate of protests by its members at various wards over party candidates lists.
An inside source said the target of the campaign is regional chairperson Nceba Faku and his entire executive. According to the source, Faku’s opponents wanted to replace him with former ANC Youth League president and MP, Lulu Johnson.
Faku, whose term as leader expires in 2012, and his regional leadership were accused of having manipulated the candidates’ lists process for the upcoming local election.
Regional secretary Zandisile Qupe has lashed out at those who “were positioning themselves for a take-over. They were figures who were part of the defeated group, called the 1996 class project, in Polokwane in 2007.”
Qupe said the unnamed figures sought to take control of the ANC during the party’s regional conference in May next year, to be followed by a national conference.
Both conferences, which coincide with the ANC centenary celebrations, are expected to emerge with a new leadership that would take the party beyond the 2014 national election.
But the SACP made no secret about its opposition to Faku and his leadership committee and its intention to have him removed.
One of the figures behind these protests in Nelson Mandela Bay, Ntsikelelo Mahambehlala, said they did not recognise the current regional leadership.
“The region is imposing candidates on us. The (candidates) lists are full of names of their girlfriends, families and friends. We will pass a vote of no confidence on Faku’s leadership,” he said.
The SACP’s Mbuyiselo Ngwenda District and Cosatu have shown their increasing opposition to Faku’s leadership. They accuse him of having used his position to benefit from major municipal tenders including the multi-million rand tile roofing and solar water geysers projects.
SACP regional secretary Zukile Jodwana has lashed out at these “tenderpreneurs” within the region who used the ANC to enrich themselves.
“The SACP will always be opposed to politicians using their status to influence political deals for their own benefits,” he said.
About 36 wards believed to be led mostly by SACP members staged a series of protests this week around Nelson Mandela Bay, including storming the ANC regional headquarters at, Standard House in Port Elizabeth demanding the change of names of candidates on the lists and calling for the removal of Faku’s executive committee.
An ANC source said the ANC has a report that indicates that organisers of the protests were linked to and funded by certain figures who had left the ANC to join Cope, the Buyelekhaya (Come Home) group and some in the SACP.
“There is also information that the group which, after leaving the ANC to join Cope, lost some lucrative municipal tenders, and see the removal of Faku and his group as a move that will give them access to these tenders. It is all business interests,” he said.
Another vocal group were Amabutho, who were not happy with the Nelson Mandela Bay regional leadership.
Amabutho spokesperson Ryder Simakuhle said, “These people are looking at their own pockets. We, the people who fought and sacrificed in the 1980s, are not given any respect. We do not have houses, our comrades are dying of diseases and many others do not have a special pension.
The ANC has accused some in the SACP of inciting party members in the various wards to revolt against the party leadership in order to take over the control of the city hall, which is the seat of ANC-dominated council and party regional headquarters.
Qupe said, “People have been fed wrong information about the lists process. Our responsibility is to educate them about how the process within the organisation works. We will also ask them not to engage in acts that will bring the organisation into disrepute and we strongly condemn any act of violence.”
Qupe said they were in the process of resolving the stalemate with the disenchanted wards by meeting with the branches.
He said despite these problems, the ANC would win the elections and had set itself a target of attaining 85% of the vote in Nelson Mandela Bay during the local government elections.