The African National Congress (ANC) in KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday said it was not willing to discuss Member of Parliament (MP) Naledi Pandor leading the province’s dispute resolution committee because they were not officially notified about the committee or her role therein.
“I am dealing with provincial organisational issues, not issues that have not been clearly communicated to us. Even yesterday we spoke to national, they didn’t say anything,” provincial secretary Super Zuma said during a media briefing in Durban.
During a rally in Sekhukhune on Sunday, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa named Pandor as his choice for ANC deputy president as part of his “winning team”. Ramaphosa publicly naming his slate led to a rebuke from the party’s secretary general, Gwede Mantashe, whom Ramaphosa had also named as one of his preferred candidates on the team.
Ramaphosa issued a statement after Mantashe’s rebuke, saying his “views” were not “prescriptive” and “do not displace the right of branches to nominate their preferred candidate for any position of ANC leadership”.
Before Ramaphosa’s slate pronouncement, the so-called “ANC KZN rebels”, who are also the official provincial lobby group for Ramaphosa’s presidential bid, said at a media briefing days earlier that Pandor was leading the dispute resolution committee in KZN, along with NEC members Thulas Nxesi, Tony Yengeni, Susan Shabangu, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and others.
Mantashe refused to answer questions about Zuma’s allegations that the party’s provincial leadership had not been “officially informed” about the dispute resolution committee and Pandor’s role therein.
“Don’t ask me questions, I am not dealing with one province, I have dispute resolution committees in all provinces,” he said.
The “rebels” and provincial executive committee will again meet in the Pietermaritzburg High Court next week. Ramaphosa’s backers will be challenging an appeal by the PEC after the court ruled in September that the party’s 2015 provincial conference was unlawful and invalid.
It was at the 2015 provincial conference that Sihle Zikalala was elected the party’s provincial chairperson, beating opponent and then incumbent Senzo Mchunu.
Mchunu also appeared on Ramaphosa’s slate on Sunday; he was named as the choice for ANC secretary general.
Speaking about the court case, Zuma told journalists that the proceedings would focus on two aspects, “[The] application for the execution of the judgment handed down by the same high court and the leave to appeal the same judgment.”
Zuma said the PEC was satisfied with the level of preparation done by the party’s provincial and national legal teams and called on ANC members and structures to avoid being distracted by the case and instead to “continue to focus on the historic mission of the organisation and also preparations for the 54th national conference”.