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Divisions in the ANC are obvious - Analyst

The ANC will hold its national policy conference this week, with divisions emerging in two provinces.

The African National Congress. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - The ANC will hold its national policy conference this week, with deep divisions emerging in at least two of its provinces.

The party's Free State branch went ahead with its elective conference this weekend, despite problems with two of its regions.

The conference was delayed three times since last month.

The ANC wants to be seen as united ahead of its policy conference, but political analyst Dr Somadoda Fikeni said that does not appear to be the case.

“The fragmentations that we’re beginning to see are also an indication of an erosion of internal democratic processes within the party.”

Free State ANC Provincial General Secretary William Bulwane said the ANC in that province followed all the correct procedures when deciding to hold the conference in Parys this weekend, despite the fact that two out of five regions were not ready.

The two regions have yet to hold their regional conferences.

Premier Ace Magashule was reelected unopposed as provincial chairperson this weekend, after his opponent’s supporters boycotted the conference.

The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) in the Free State was not present at the Free State gathering, but some members did attend individually on Saturday.

There are 318 ANC branches in the Free State. 233 branches in good standing were needed to hold the provincial elective conference.

A total of 239 branches in good standing were present at the conference, confirmed its executive committee. 

Bulwane said the branch did nothing wrong by holding a conference with only three regions present.

Magashule told attendees that the party’s provincial executive committee tried to resolve issues shared by the province’s youth leaders.

“We worked with the youth league until they decided to be disrespectful.” 

But Free State ANCYL chairman Kgotso Morapela maintains the conference was illegitimate in terms of the party’s constitution.

Morapela also said processes to solve branch queries had not been solved fully.

In the North West, people with sjamboks disrupted a policy meeting a week ago and claimed that the provincial leadership had been disbanded.

The Parys conference ends on Sunday.