March 19, 2018


ANC warns disruptors

The ANC in the Free State says it will not tolerate moves by some members as well as elements outside the party to undermine preparations for the provincial conference by creating confusion within branches and other structures in a bid to disillusion loyal members of the party.

The province was expected to hold its elective conference this month but the meeting has since been postponed provisionally to August 10-13, to allow the province adequate time to prepare for the National Policy Conference set for June 30 to July 5.

The Free State conference will be held in Parys while the Policy Conference will take place at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg.

ANC provincial spokesperson Thabo Meeko told The Weekly that preparations were already underway but the party was concerned that some people within the party and outside were mobilising others to disrupt the ground work.

He said the suspected instigators were riding on an unfounded notion that the provincial leadership was running parallel nomination processes for candidates to go to the provincial elective conference.

But Meeko dismissed the perception, saying the provincial leadership will always respect the will of the people and warned those fanning the flames of disunity saying the party would not allow people with hidden agendas to bring it to a state of disarray.

“People are creating all manner of things to cause confusion and disrupt preparations,” said Meeko in an interview on Wednesday.

“Any plans to disrupt the provincial conference should not be allowed. There are no chosen ones for the provincial leadership. No infiltration will be allowed at the branches and no secret meetings should be allowed because the ANC wants all members to talk freely. The leadership will not undermine the authority of the branches,” said Meeko.

The provincial spokesperson said only one regional conference will be held in the province before the Johannesburg meeting with the rest coming later. That regional meeting, he said, will be held in Xhariep District and the other four regional conventions will follow in July and early August.

Meeko noted contesting for positions was allowed in the party and it should not be misconstrued that those standing for positions want to undermine current leadership or cause factions.

“There is stability in the province and the conference should run smoothly. Members are allowed to differ but that should be done with a purpose to strengthen the ANC. We don’t expect any surprises. Our leadership is chosen at the branches, which is the nucleus of the ANC. All insinuations in the media that there will be war are unfounded. Some media outlets are just ambitious and they are surfing for problems where there are none. Contestation is allowed in the ANC,” he explained.

Meeko said the provincial conference will be an opportunity for the ANC to propagate unity within its structures and position itself to lead the country and continue with the struggle economic emancipation.

He pointed out that as part of the preparations, the Provincial Executive Committee has put together several organs to ensure everything goes smoothly. These include: the rules committee, preparations, nominations committee, logistics committee, safety and security committee, transport committee, media committee and the draft and resolutions committee.

The party, according to Meeko, would ensure that all audit processes went according to plan as that would assist in holding successful branch and annual general meetings where nominations for delegates are made.

“All members in good standing should be allowed to participate. We do no want to have people being disqualified on technicalities. We are calling all members to submit their particulars to branch secretaries so that they can be eligible for nominations,” said Meeko.

He dismissed rumours that the ANC in the province was planning to purge workers who participated at the May Day celebrations where President Jacob Zuma and other alliance leaders were booed and heckled by the crowed and failed to address the meeting.

“We respect workers across the board. Everyone has a right to strike or express their views on any given matter. The party has no plans to purge workers. Those reports are wrong. They are not a reflection of what’s on the ground. The ANC met with Cosatu soon after the May Day celebrations and we had a very constructive engagement,” said the provincial spokesperson.

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