West Coast councillor Onel de Beer suspended
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West Coast councillor Onel de Beer suspended

Some leaders of disgruntled ANC Western Cape members who backed former ANC chairperson Mosiuoa Lekota’s plan for a national convention, have been suspended from the party and more could follow, the ANC’s Western Cape leadership said.

City councillors and the party’s Dullah Omar (Cape Town metro) regional executive members Mbulelo Ncedana, Ebrahim Sawant and Brain Heber, ANC Boland co-ordinator Moegamat Majiet and West Coast councillor Onel de Beer would be disciplined because their public support for Lekota had undermined their party’s unity, ANC provincial chairperson Mcebisi Skwatsha said.

The action followed the ANC head office’s suspension of Lekota and fellow ANC dissident Mluleki George.

“The PWC (ANC provincial working committee) believes this drastic action will bring clearer understanding to our members and provide direction to our branches, as we are aware of the confusion created by people who continually undermine the structures and leadership of the ANC, and speak on behalf of the ANC at meetings not arranged or sanctioned by the ANC,” Skwatsha read from a statement on Tuesday.

He said hearings would be conducted by a disciplinary committee that included ANC national executive committee member Nomaindia Mfeketo and ANC MP Hassan Solomons, and that while the councillors would not be replaced, they were not allowed to represent the party while under suspension.

About further suspensions, Skwatsha said: “We are gathering information on a daily basis of the activities of individuals.”

ANC Youth League provincial chair Siyazi Tyatyam and ANC Women’s League secretary Judy Hermans said their members faced the same fate if they were found to have aligned themselves with the dissidents and Lekota.

“It does not surprise me. It shows that the values and culture of the ANC have been thrown out of the window and also the arrogance and level to which they (provincial leadership) will stoop to escape the real issues,” De Beer said.

Asked if he would attend the hearing or resign, De Beer questioned the neutrality of the disciplinary team because it included ANC provincial executive members whose election the dissidents rejected.

“We will cross that (membership) bridge when we get there.”

About garnering support for the national convention, he said: “This vehicle is unstoppable.”

While Ncedana said he awaited his letter of suspension before he would comment, Sawant, who refused to be drawn on his political future, rejected allegations that he had undermined the ANC.

“We have followed all internal processes and procedures to have very serious problems addressed.

“They are doing this to get rid of us. It is a blatant attempt to mask their shortcomings,” he said.

Meanwhile, Health MEC Marius Fransman said he would urge for a cessation of hostilities between the rebels and the ANC provincial leadership.

He said he would actively work on getting the opposing sides to have sanity prevail and draw in former premier Ebrahim Rasool and Skwatsha’s predecessor, James Ngculu, to assist him in his venture.

“We need to respect different views. I want to make a special call to my comrades who feel disgruntled and aggrieved by recent events in the province, particularly in the run-up (to) and outcome of the provincial conference.

“Your cause will not be served outside of the structures and discipline of the organisation even if you feel that matters have not been resolved according to your liking,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sapa reports that ANC dissidents in the Northern Cape said on Tuesday an overwhelming majority of ANC branches in the province were ready to listen to what Lekota, who resigned as minister of defence after Thabo Mbeki’s recall as president, might have to offer.

Spokesperson Fezile Kies said many wanted to disown the recently “illegitimate and illegally” elected provincial ANC leadership and supported the national convention called by Lekota.

“We are quite convinced that there is no prospect of Luthuli House reversing the violation of the ANC constitution at the provincial conference of August this year at Kuruman.”

story by. aziz.hartley@inl.co.za

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