South Africa

Bathabile Dlamini’s last-ditch attempt to save ANCWL thwarted

ANC Women’s League president Bathabile Dlamini has fallen short in her attempts to dissuade the ruling party from scrapping the structure.

The national executive committee (NEC) on Monday resolved to accept the proposal by national working committee member Thandi Modise whose report called for the league to be disbanded, as it had become fractured, and for a task team to be installed.

READ MORE: ANC to strengthen step-aside rule after fiery NEC meeting

Two insiders told the Mail & Guardian that some in the NEC argued that the women’s league was prevented from going to its elective conference by the Covid-19 lockdowns and the 2021 local government elections. They said that the working committee will then recommend names to form part of the task team.

One of the insiders said that arguments made by those aligned with Dlamini were thwarted by the majority in the NEC.

Modise was appointed last month by the NEC to head a panel to evaluate the status of the league ahead of its elective conference, which is expected to take place later this year.

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In February, the M&G reported that women’s league secretary general Meokgo Matuba delivered a damning report, showing that the structure had no functioning branches, regions or provincial structures in most provinces.

Matuba is said to have highlighted that five provincial secretaries were not working full time and had instead been deployed to the government. Insiders said the national working committee heard how branch audits on the readiness of structures for a conference were moving at a snail’s pace because the branches were dysfunctional.

Matuba said the mandates of the women’s league’s structures had expired, that there was very slow intake of new members, and that many of its branches failed to reach quorum when they met.

Meanwhile, Dlamini is said to have escaped the wrath of the NEC, with the party recommending that she be hauled before its integrity commission.

Dlamini, the former minister of social development, was found guilty of perjury in March for lying under oath during an inquiry about her role in the 2018 South African Social Security Agency grant payments debacle.

The source said that because Dlamini’s sentence included a fine, it was deemed not serious by the party’s constitution, which meant the step-aside rule would not apply to her.

“But in the [ANC’s] constitution, it also says we are allowed to take her to the integrity commission. How does her conduct impact the integrity of the ANC?” the NEC member said.

Party spokesperson Pule Mabe said the party would brief the media on Thursday.

Artmotion S.Africa

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