To ensure that the African National Congress’s (ANC's) December elective conference goes ahead, ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe has banned regional and provincial congresses after September 30.
This is contained in a memo sent out to provincial and league secretaries on September 5.
“We are now three months to the national conference. To ensure that there are no disruptions in this period the following must be implemented,” wrote Mantashe, before he listed a series of instructions which needed to be adhered to.
Mantashe also gave the go-ahead for branches whose audits are completed to hold meetings to nominate the next leadership.
Mantashe announced earlier this month that audits have been completed in six provinces, with KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Western Cape outstanding.
He, however, warns that appeals on the branch meetings should be lodged within 72 hours for complaints to be deemed valid.
“Otherwise we are running the risk of appeals being a function of factional mobilisation,” he said.
Mantashe’s call comes amid concern that ongoing legal battles could jeopardise the national elective conference.
KwaZulu-Natal will have to hold another provincial elective conference after the Pietermaritzburg High Court nullified its 2015 conference.
The provincial executive committee is awaiting the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) to decide on the way forward. The NEC meeting was moved from Monday to Friday.
Branches in the Bojanala region are also battling it out, with Mantashe and the North West leadership in court over the “constitutionality” of branches in the region.
The biggest region in the Eastern Cape, OR Tambo also dragged the political party to court in a bid to have the results of its elective conference nullified, a move which has resulted in more than three delays of its provincial conference.
Mantashe told News24 that those who need to go to the various congresses would get a chance to do so in January. He dismissed PECs with expired mandates as an area of concern, emphasising that the much anticipated congress in December was about the branches and not regions or provinces.
The Free State province, whose PEC term expired in March says it knows of Mantashe’s letter but wanted to hear what the ANC’s NEC had to say about the issue.
“We want the NEC to sign off on what happens next, the highest decision-making body in the ANC,” said Free State spokesperson Thabo Meeko.
"The NEC must decide on our status going to conference if it doesn’t ask us to hold a conference, but as far as we are concerned we are ready, we could hold it now," he added.
Some branch members from the Tshwane and Ekurhuleni regions told News24 they had no idea that there were plans to stop them from participating in the conference.
“We will hopefully hear something today,” said one member in Tshwane.