Sicelo Mbondezi is being accused of “mobilising the community to engage in protest marches against the ANC”
ANC MEMBER Sicelo Mbondezi, who is leading the “hope and change campaign” in the ZF Mgcawu region and who will be contesting for the position of regional chairperson in the upcoming regional conference, was apparently served with a notices of precautionary suspension this week by the municipality and the ANC in the region.
This follows a march that took place to the ZF Mgcawu district municipality and ANC offices last week where ANC members called for the disbanding of the branch executive committees.
Members want the ANC national executive committee (NEC) to initiate misconduct investigations against the ANC Provincial Secretary Deshi Ngxanga and the regional leadership, for allegedly manipulating membership lists during a branch general meeting that was held on March 15 in Upington.
According to a letter that was signed by the ZF Mgcawu regional secretary David Kazi on March 24, Mbondezi was charged with misconduct for “mobilising the community to engage in protest marches against the ANC”.
The charges involve “engaging in unethical or immoral conduct which detracts from the character, values and integrity of the ANC … which has the potential to bring the ANC into disrepute”.
Mbondezi was also accused of “behaving in a manner that provokes division or impact negatively on the unity of the organisation,” participating in “organised factional activity” and “undermining the respect for or impeding the functioning of any structure or committee of the ANC”.
He was instructed to provide written representation within the next five days to motivate why he should not be suspended as an ANC member.
Mbondezi was also given until Friday March 26 to provide reasons why he should not be suspended from his position at the ZF Mgcawu district municipality.
On March 24, he was advised that he could be charged for misconduct, for participating in activities in contravention of the code of conduct municipal staff members, during work hours.
He was warned to appear before a disciplinary hearing.
In correspondence, Mbondezi pointed out that the ANC in the region did not have the authority to place a member in good standing on precautionary/temporary suspension and that it had to be carried out by the provincial or national structures.
He indicated that the term of the regional executive committee (REC) had expired as its conference was overdue and that its legitimacy was therefore called into question.
ZF Mgcawu municipal manager Gilbert Lategan explained that the municipality had informed Mbondezi that he should attend a hearing on Friday March 26.
“Mr Mbondezi has not been charged. He was given an opportunity to provide reasons why he should not be suspended at the hearing. He was also provided an opportunity to explain his side of the story. The outcome of the hearing will determine the way forward.”
He stated that Mbondezi was the unit manager for planning and development at ZF Mgcawu District Municipality.
“The issue of whether or not he will be suspended cannot be pre-empted at this stage.”
The ANC in the Province referred media enquiries to the region, who in turn did not respond.
ANC Provincial Secretary Deshi Ngxanga on March 25, advised all branch and regional secretaries, that there appeared to be “confusion” around the status of ANC structures whose term of office had lapsed.
He stated that any overdue branch biennial general meetings, regional and provincial conferences should be held no later than April 30, upon recommendation of the ANC national working committee.
Ngxanga emphasised that the ANC NEC had resolved that no structures should be disbanded.
“Provinces and regions whose term expired beyond May 2021 should not be disbanded during the local government election campaign, rather their term should be extended.”
He indicated that regional executive committees (RECs) and branches whose term of office had come to an end, would not be disbanded.
“RECs have full right to manage ANC affairs in line with the ANC constitution. Anyone who is not happy with the decision of the NEC has the right to make representation to the office of the Secretary General or to approach a court of law to review the decision.
“In the absence of this, RECs and branches have the right to continue to function and to discipline members until a regional conference or BBGM takes place.”