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Free State ANC ready to hold its elective conference in November

Free State ANC’s Thabo Mmeko says the national structures the reason they haven’t held a conference yet.

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The Free State African National Congress (ANC) says it will hold its elective conference next month despite Secretary General Gwede Mantashe banning regional and provincial conferences between now and December.

Mantashe sent out a memo to provincial and league secretaries last month saying structures whose mandates are due to expire can only have their conferences next year.

A member of the party in the province has asked the NEC to disband the provincial leadership by next Monday and appoint a provincial task team or face more court action.

Mantashe said putting the provincial and regional conferences on the ice was to ensure the focus is on the December elective conference.

But the Free State ANC’s Thabo Meeko says the national structure is the reason they haven’t held a conference yet.

“You can’t convene a conference before you’re audited by national, now that’s process got delayed. We then said we’ll go in August with logistics and everything else and that time we were told by the national audit is not concluded yet.”

He says they are now ready to convene the gathering.

“We’re ready, we can go in November. So we’re going to the conference in November.”

The provincial party has accused those taking it to the court of being inspired by what happened in KwaZulu-Natal where a court declared that provincial leadership unlawfully elected.

Meeko says those who want to go to court should have turned to the party’s structures first.

“People are taking us to court and they wrote a letter to the SG, saying our mandate has expired - granted. But there’s an organisational process, we were supposed to sit in May [and do an] audit processes because equally, you must be able to respect those administrative processes.”

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)