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NC nomination dispute may require ANC top brass intervention

The African National Congress’s (ANC) top six could now be roped in to quell tensions in the Northern Cape.

This follows a picket by the province’s Frances Baard region outside the ANC list conference held in Pretoria, disputing the validity of its nomination process.

ANC Secretary-General Mantashe says all the party’s appeals committees have now tried to resolve the concerns. He describes the demonstration as “malicious”.

The party’s top brass is burning the midnight oil to finalise the candidate list ahead of the much-anticipated local government elections.

Factional battles have led to violent clashes and even political killings as members squabble over who should make it onto the final list.

Mantashe has described the recent spate of disruption of branch meetings and infighting as desperate acts to influence the outcome of the nomination processes. “The problem has nothing to do with going to communities. It has everything to do with individuals wanting to be councillors. That is the desperation that we are witnessing and we understand.”

The ANC is facing is what is expected to be a fierce electoral battle with the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) and Economic
Freedom Fighters (EFF) eyeing to wrest control of metro councils run by the ANC.

There are reports that the recent killings of prominent ANC political leaders in KwaZulu-Natal are linked to the battle to secure a
nomination for municipal elections contest.

Dr. Somadoda Fikeni, a political commentator at the University of South Africa (UNISA), says the rise of political tensions among ANC members in KwaZulu-Natal is cause for concern.

“In that part of the country you often have political disagreements settled violently and that is a matter of concern. These fights used to be between political parties but these days factions within the party seem to have taken root. You have seen other arranged killings in Mpumalanga, Free State and the North West and that in itself is a concerning factor.”

The ANC list conference is expected to be intense as leaders try to deal with disputes arising from infighting over candidate lists.

Fikeni says it is crucial that the party chooses competent people with moral authority to contest the municipal polls. “I think they should be looking for people who are honest, and not corruptible. People with a track record and being able to clearly articulate the policies of the ANC, and implement what they promise to do are the kind of cadre the ANC should be looking for.”

It will be the first time that the ANC announces mayoral candidates for metros and district municipalities ahead of elections. The
extended National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting is expected to receive the report on the much-talked about state capture.

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– By Aldrin Sampear , Tshepo Ikaneng

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