STOP THE ROT: Thobile Mhalhlo wants the ANC regional executive committee disbanded.
Clandestine efforts are being made by prominent ANC figures to stem the rapid decline of the ANC in the Nelson Mandela Bay region.
A split, similar to the one that led to the formation of Cope, is feared as disillusionment among members spreads. The campaign to restore the ANC’s image among the people of the region appears to be triggered by a decline in support for the party from 78% in 1994 to 51% in 2011, as reflected in last year’s elections results.
Former transport MEC Thobile Mhlahlo, former ANC regional chairperson Mike Xego and former regional leader and Walmer branch chairperson Themba Mangqase are the main drivers of the campaign.
They are lobbying Luthuli House to disband the ANC regional executive committee under Nceba Faku and to put in place a task team to ensure the election of regional leaders untainted by any factional virus.
“Our focus is bringing about political stability within the party. Factions are destroying the ANC. We are now talking about two centres of power, one ANC in Standard House and the other in the City Hall,” Mangqase said.
Corruption and fraud within the Mandela Bay municipality, where senior parties were implicated in the Kabuso forensic report, Mhlahlo said, has led to ANC “languishing in the political periphery”.
The party is in the throes of factional infighting between a group led by Faku and the other, led by his deputy mayor, Zanoxolo Wayile.
Attempts are being made by the Faku group to remove Wayile, who has refused to take instructions from the ANC regional leadership. Alliance partners SACP and Cosatu are believed to be supporting Wayile.
So serious were the divisions within the ANC that the ANC Women’s League and ANC Youth League were disbanded in the area and are operating with interim structures. The ANC is expected to hold its elective regional conference by not later than May this year.