Durban – The 24 senior members of the ANC in the OR Tambo region in the Eastern Cape, who were suspended by the provincial executive committee on June 9 this year, are still out in the cold, not knowing their political future.
Some of the members are councillors in the OR Tambo district municipality which includes towns like Port St Johns and others were members of the troubled and divided regional task team of the ANC.
On June 9 this year, the provincial secretary, Lulama Ngcukayitobi, served the members with suspension letters, accusing them of misconduct. The letter did not specify the alleged misconduct by the members.
“This serves to inform you that the following comrades, in the OR Tambo, have been temporarily suspended by the ANC, in line with rule 25.60 rule of the ANC constitution, pending disciplinary action against them … The suspension means that during this period, these members will not be able to exercise their rights as provided for in the constitution until they have been charged or the PEC has lifted this suspension,” read part of the letter which was sent to the chief whip in the district municipality.
Party insiders alleged the suspensions had to do with factional fights in the region and in the province ahead of elective conferences. Some of the members are believed to be opposed to the current provincial leadership.
Among those who were suspended is Zandile Mdoda, a senior ANC councillor in the OR Tambo district municipality, Bulelwa Nokhanda, Lindelwa Rololobile, Xolisani Malindi, Nosiphiwo Beqezi and Zanemvula Gusana, among others.
Almost three weeks after they were suspended, some of them went silent while others approached Luthuli House for a reprieve. A senior ANC member from the province and who from the start flagged the suspension as abuse of power, said the members have not faced any disciplinary action since their suspension.
“Some of them have since appealed their suspension to the DSG (deputy secretary-general, Jessie Duarte) because there was no hearing after they were suspended … this caution was pure abuse of power by the PEC,” said the member.
Attempts to get a comment from Mdoda, who was vocal before they were suspended, hit a snag as calls to her phone could not be sent and emailed questioned were not answered.
The spokesperson of the ANC in the Eastern Cape, Loyiso Mangqashela, who is also a member of the provincial legislature, did not comment when asked about the matter.