Kodwa: 'We can't afford to lose North West', admits there appears to be an 'ANC within an ANC'

The ANC’s national working committee (NWC) is again going to intervene in the troubled North West province, worried about its stability ahead of the elections.

ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte and head of presidency in Luthuli House Zizi Kodwa confirmed that the NWC resolved to visit the platinum-rich province on Sunday and Monday to meet with the regions and the provincial executive committee.

Sources have told News24 that some of the challenges which led to violent protests and calls for former premier Supra Mahumapelo to step down have persisted, with calls for the provincial ANC executive to be disbanded.

Mahumapelo announced his resignation as premier in May, but he stayed on as chairperson of the party in the province.

READ: 49-year-old Supra Mahumapelo announces 'early retirement' as North West premier

"We are acting on the basis of a need to stabilise the organisation in the North West. That’s our objective. The organisation is unstable in the North West, there are challenges in the North West," explained Kodwa to News24.

He was speaking on the sidelines of a media briefing about the outcomes of Monday’s NWC meeting. 

Sources, including two national executive committee (NEC) members and regional leaders, have complained about persisting problems and placed Mahumapelo at the "heart" of challenges plaguing the ANC.

"There are parallel processes and regions being launched in the North West," one NEC member complained to News24.

A similar claim was made by a provincial leader, who said parallel conferences had taken place in the Dr Ruth Mompati and Dr Kenneth Kaunda regions.

Kodwa seemed to confirm these concerns, telling News24 that there were different groupings which made it look like there was an "ANC within an ANC".

"We’ve seen instances where meetings sit, like a conference, and there’s another parallel conference. We can’t allow that, parallelism is a problem in the ANC," he said.

'It’s not common for the ANC to make a knee-jerk decision'

A regional leader also told News24 that the popular belief was that the NWC was making its way to the province in order to prepare branches for the PEC being dissolved. Kodwa, however, denied these claims.

"We can’t go to a province to meet with our structures, already with a decision. The reason we are going to the North West [is that] we are concerned about the state of the organisation and want to make sure, as we go to the North West, that we open up the organisation," he said.

"Regardless of what we think, which faction is strong, or which one is less, we can’t afford to lose the North West," added Kodwa.

He said the NWC, which will be accompanied by some NEC members, had organisational stability as their main objective.

News24 also understands that the veterans of the organisation warned that continued divisions in the North West, allegations of gatekeeping and the manipulation of processes could cost the ANC the province. The veterans met with the top six last week.

"Working with our structures, [we need to determine] what is it that we need to do urgently as we prepare for 2019," said Kodwa about the looming national elections.

During the media briefing, Duarte told journalists that the NWC would meet with regions on Sunday and the PEC the following day.

"This is normal in the ANC, where there is a question mark about the performance of any structure in the ANC. It’s not common for the ANC to make a knee-jerk decision," she said.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter