The ANC has deployed its national executive committee (NEC) members Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba and Sue van der Merwe as “caretaker leaders” in the Western Cape while its top two officials, Marius Fransman and Faiez Jacobs face allegations of sexual harassment and assault, respectively.
Minister of Tourism and convener of the NEC deployees in the province Derek Hanekom who made the announcement said Letsatsi-Duba and Van der Merwe were deployed in line with the announcement made by the ANC’s top six a few weeks ago and that Letsatsi-Duba will be deployed to the office of chairwoman while Van der Merwe, an NEC deployee to the province, will assist in the provincial secretary’s office.
“Letsatsi-Duba does not now become the elected chairperson of the province, that goes without saying. In line with the constitution, the deputy chairperson, (Khaya Magaxa) assumes responsibility of chairperson and the deputy provincial secretary (Thandi Manikivana) assumes responsibility for now as the acting secretary of the province,” he said in a media briefing adding that the party will kick in should formal charges be laid against Fransman.
The care takers are expected to play such role until the national leadership see that the situation has “stabilized properly and the PEC (provincial executive committee) is fully functional”.
“The challenge now is to get the PEC properly functional. The good news is that all the regions went to regional conferences last year, and the regions are functioning. So it is not like there’s a dysfunctional ANC in the province but there were challenges with the PEC,” he said.
Hanekom said the PEC and the NEC will have powers to overrule decisions made, but added they are not anticipating that need will arise. He reafirmed that the removal of Fransman was not an act of overtaking him but as an intervention by national to assist, rebuild and guide.
The ANC however believes that the province will be “elections-ready” in time for the upcoming local government elections and Hanekom followed by admitting that there were divisions in the province in the run-up to the provincial conference last year.
“There is an immediate process that the leadership will like to pay attention to, and that is the candidate selection process. It is a very important process in the run-up to the elections,”
“You never get over the divisions instantaneously; one has to work at it. There was an observation that there were a continuation of divisions within the PEC and there were many instances where it was observed by us that the PEC was not functioning optimally.” he said.
Meanwhile, one of the deployees Letsatsi-Duba said that she was asked by the movement to come and assist the leadership in the province.“We are geared to that task and we will do it to the best of our ability. We are happy to work with the comrades in this province,” she said.
Magaxa has however welcomed the intervention, adding that they were looking forward to working very closely with the two NEC deployees.