ANC members blame Mbalula for MK ‘mess’

The African National Congress(ANC) Secretary General Fikile Mbalula. Picture: Itumeleng English/ Independent Newspaper

The African National Congress(ANC) Secretary General Fikile Mbalula. Picture: Itumeleng English/ Independent Newspaper

Published Mar 27, 2024


The ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) leadership has been criticised by its members for its failure to protect the organisation.

One member, who spoke to The Star yesterday, said the party’s leadership was focused on factional battles, and therefore failed to protect the organisation.

“The leadership will ignore anyone after they are elected. When you give advice, you are seen as a contender for the next conference. Anyone understanding electoral laws would have known that we had no case at all.

“The leadership knew that the window to object was there but because of lack of focus the door was closed. When the threat became obvious, they ran to court,” the member said.

Elias Mthimkhulu (not his real name) said he blamed both the ANC and uMkhonto weSizwe Liberation War Veterans (MKLWV) as they had to safeguard the movement’s heritage, but they had proved to be incompetent.

“A complete inward focus and pettiness has resulted in this. Had the MKLWV allowed Commissar Castro to roll out the heritage programme as agreed at the East London conference, we would have avoided this embarrassing issue.

“There’s a cost for incompetence, worse when hidden behind arrogance, unfortunately,” said Mthimkhulu.

Some put the blame on the party’s secretary-general, Fikile Mbalula, saying he dropped the ball, as he’s office was supposed to check for such things.

“He has two deputies and persons responsible for elections and monitoring as well as the National Working Committee which meets every Monday.

“The registration of the uMkhonto weSizwe Party was known early. Did the Secretary-General’s Office (SGO) submit an item for discussion to the National Working Committee? Who was monitoring the registration of political parties with the IEC in the SGO? If the National Working Committee was never reported to, the SGO slept on duty. If the National Working Committee did discuss the matter informally or formally, what was the decision?” he asked.

The party’s spokesperson, Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri, dismissed these allegations, saying they had always known that the ruling could go either way, and that they should respect the court of law.

“It is incorrect to want to apportion the blame on the secretary-general or the SGO. As the ANC we know nothing about these claims,” Bhengu-Motsiri said.

The ANC approached the Electoral Court in an attempt to have the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party deregistered.

However, the case was dismised by Judge Lebogang Modiba, saying the ANC had no basis to have the party deregistered.

“We find there is nothing unlawful about the registration of the MK Party by the deputy chief electoral officer,” said the court, adding that the ANC had failed on two occasions to challenge the registration of the MK Party last year.

The party was registered in September last year by the party’s founder, Jabulani Khumalo.

The Star