Days after Andile Lungisa turned down Gwede Mantashe’s letter barring him from contesting the chairmanship during the region’s fifth conference this weekend, the party secretary has sent yet another letter to Lungisa, charging him to the party’s disciplinary committee.
In a confidential letter dated March 10, ANC’s Mantashe told the newly elected ‘king’ of the Nelson Mandela Bay regional conference, Lungisa, that he has reported him to the party’s top disciplinary body.
Mantashe had in the letter, referred to Lungisa’s behaviour as contemptuous which according to him should not be condoned by the party.
“You are breaking the rule knowingly and that can not be allowe,” Mantashe wrote, pointing out to him that the rule has been applied since the 53rd National Congress.
Lungisa officially accepted a nomination for the lower structure position in Nelson Mandela Bay despite the ANC’s top leadership warning that it went against the party’s constitution.
The ANC’s regional elective conference took place in Port Elizabeth over the weekend and Lungisa who was a former ANC Youth League deputy leader, emerged the winner in the election, beating his running mate Tony Duba by 71 votes to 57.
Speaking to reporters after his election, Andile Lungisa defended himself, saying: “The matter of electing any member of the ANC resides with the branches of the ANC. There is no individual who is above the structures of the ANC. When the call was made by structures of the ANC, I had to respond to that call,” he said as a number of delegates in the conference room cheered in support of him.
Meanwhile, Mantashe had earlier sent a letter to all provincial structures reminding them that any attempt to resign from the PEC to be able to stand for a position at a regional conference should not be allowed.
But, Lungisa defied it, saying he was not focused on “issues of the letter”.
“Those were internal issues which were attended [to] in this conference. Our main focus now is to rally the people of Nelson Mandela Bay metro behind the new elected leadership.
Zuma allegedly made a call to lungisa to signify he has endorsed him as the new leader of Nelson Mandela Bay.
Speaking during his special visit to the Port Elizabeth conference venue, the president praised Andile Lungisa and said he was a man of character.
“The ANC is saying it is something that we are looking for, it’s not just that the person is now grey and balding that we recognize someone as a leader,” said Zuma.
“We look at the quality, the energy, the consistency; in other words, we choose the leader because we can explain why,” Zuma said, adding that he was happy with the report that confirmed that the local branches had implemented what they had been mandated in the conference.
“This is an ANC tradition, it is how things are done,” said Zuma.
Andile Lungisa serves in the provincial executive committee, which would require him to resign from the position before taking up the new position of regional chairperson of the Nelson Mandela region.
The provincial committee is yet to send a report to the national executive committee on the proceedings of the fifth regional conference of the Nelson Mandela