Manyoni back in the mainstream

Former Bloemfontein Mayor, Thabo Manyoni, at an ANC media briefing held at Emoya Estate outside Bloemfontein yesterday. PHOTO: PIERCE VAN HEERDEN

In a surprising twist of events, the name of Thabo Manyoni, former Provincial Deputy Chairperson of the ANC in the Free State, popped up on the list of those elected to serve on the Free State’s Interim Committee. Manyoni openly indicated that he was going to contest Secretary-General Ace Magashule’s almost decades long tenure as provincial chairperson.
The newly announced Free State Interim Committee is replacing the Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) of the ANC in the province after the National Executive Committee (NEC) had suspended the Free State PEC. One of its top priorities will be to oversee the planning for the provincial elective conference.
Manyoni’s inclusion came as a surprise as he had boycotted last year’s Provincial General Council and the provincial conference because of alleged irregularities with Branch General Meetings (BGM). The conference ended up being declared null and void by the Free State High Court and the14 BGMs in dispute were ordered to be reconducted. Manyoni and former Free State MEC and provincial treasurer, Mxolisi Dukwana, were considered as leaders of the faction opposing Magashule.
Paseka Nompondo, who is now the convenor of the interim structure, defended the move to include Manyoni and Dukwana by saying that “in the ANC, there are no two groups”. Speaking to the media following a meeting with the National Executive Committee, Nompondo said, “The task ahead requires all ANC Free State members to be organised as members and unite. We must come back strong and work with everybody.”
He also said that there are numerous structures within the ANC’s internal processes and he hopes that this year, going forward, members will rather consult with these structures, before taking action such as approaching courts on internal problems. Nompondo also revealed that the National District Resolution Committee was implemented and set up by the ANC for this purpose.
During a media briefing held earlier on, Magashule stated that it was important to note that the team is not a “task team” but rather an interim committee. “The difference lies in the fact when a PEC gets dissolved the NEC must appoint a task team that has to be in place for 9 months. The PEC was thus suspended instead of being dissolved in order for an interim structure to be appointed. There is no time frame that dictates how long this structure should be in place.”
Magashule said first and foremost the 14 branches where BGMs were in dispute should be redone. Thereafter a provincial conference should be held before March this year. The interim committee comprises 15 members, with Nompondo as the Convener and William Bulwane as the co-ordinator.
Other members of the committee include Mayor of Mangaung Metropolitan, Olly Mlamleli; Speaker of Provincial Legislature Mamikie Qabathe; MEC of Education, Tate Makgoe, and MEC of Agriculture, Oupa Khoabane. – Pulane Choane