Cosatu calls for Limpopo ANC secretary’s suspension over the ‘missing 68 votes’ saga;
Nocks Seabi rejects the call for resignation.
LIMPOPO ANC secretary Nocks Seabi has rejected calls for him to be suspended and investigated for allegedly sending bogus delegates to the party’s national elective conference last month.
Seabi, who supported Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s failed bid to succeed President Jacob Zuma as ANC leader, has also ruled out the possibility of resigning from his position over the alleged misconduct.
This comes after Limpopo Cosatu called on the ANC provincial executive committee (PEC) to sanction Seabi, accusing him of having replaced legitimate delegates with fake ones as well as approving the participation of branches that had failed to hold their mandatory branch general meetings (BMG’s).
In a scathing statement released this week, Limpopo Cosatu secretary Gerald Twala thanked the federation’s shop stewards and members for ensuring that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa emerged victorious at the conference in Nasrec, Johannesburg.
He described the outcome as a rejection of state capture “by forces with no interest to the strategic objectives of our revolution during its 54th National Conference held in December 2017”.
Cosatu had a responsibility to safeguard the unity of the ANC and the alliance, said Twala. And part of that role is to see to it that Seabi was suspended and probed for his alleged role in the so-called “68 missing votes”. These are the votes of 68 ANC delegates from Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal that were quarantined and not counted by the Elexions Agency after their legitimacy was disputed.
They created a storm after the announcement of the party’s senior officials – also known as the top six – when it emerged that they had not been counted and could have had a bearing on the position of secretary general, for which Free State Premier Ace Magashule had defeated former KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu by 24 votes. In the end, they were counted and 15 “given” to Mchunu, who had initiated legal proceedings to have the results set aside.
Twala said the ANC’s renewal process, led by Ramaphosa and his top six colleagues – must “start by correcting wrong tendencies by its leaders”.
“The serious allegations against the Provincial Secretary of the ANC, comrade Nocks Seabi, of attempts and or registration of bogus delegates from branches that failed to convene their BGMs or have failed audits and inconspicuous replacements of legitimate branch delegates to the 54th National Conference cannot go unattended. This fallacious and inappropriate conduct ensued during the ANC Special PGC held on the 4th December 2017 and at the 54th National Conference. This is further evidenced by the fact that the majority of the so-called “68 missing votes” are from Limpopo Province,” Twala said in a statement.
“It is on those basis that the COSATU in the province calls for the ANC PEC to immediately suspend the Provincial Secretary, comrade Nocks Seabi, and institute investigations with regard to these serious allegations. The federation will engage the leadership of the ANC on this matter.”
Seabi said while ANC leadership in the province was willing to discuss the matter with Cosatu, Twala’s call was misplaced and unfounded.
Asked whether he was willing to entertain calls for his suspension, or even resign if needs be, Seabi replied: “I can’t. I have been elected by conference.”
However, he said that a meeting has been arranged between the ANC and Cosatu in the province to discuss the matter.
“We will have a meeting with them and hear what they say. I don’t want to be involved in a lot of toing and froing,” Seabi added.
He insisted that he was being targeted for having supported Dlamini-Zuma, who lost to Ramaphosa by 179 of the 4776 votes. Seabi said no unity would be achieved in the ANC without “engagements”.
The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) and Cosas have thrown their weight behind Seabi.
ANCYL Provincial Secretary Che Selane dismissed Twala’s demand as a “frivolous and vexatious” stunt motivated by the desire to influence the outcome of the upcoming provincial conference.
“Cosatu doesn’t have the right to raise disputes about conferences of the ANC. Cosatu must focus on uniting workers and fight for their rights,” said Selane, adding that Cosatu leaders must raise their problems with the ANC leadership directly and not through the media, if they have any.
“They know that we are heading towards a provincial conference. The manner in which they have raised the debate is quite mischievous because it’s wrong for them to say we want so and so to be what in the ANC. But to invoke a decision and say so and so must be suspended , that responsibility is for branches of the ANC.”
Ntwanano Ngobeni, the chairperson of Congress of South African Students (Cosas) in Limpopo, said Cosatu were biased towards Provincial ANC chairperson and Premier Stan Mathabatha.
“Cosatu in the province are so biased. They work with the chairperson of the ANC, and sometimes they like taking bribes. They love money. So, for them, to remove their opponent, who is Nocks Seabi, they release statements like that,” Ngobeni said.
The provincial conference is expected to be held in the middle of the year. Three line ups have emerged already. One line up has Mathabatha as chairperson; the other has Transport MEC Makoma Makhurupetje as chairperson while the third one has Provincial Treasurer and businessman Danny Msiza as chairperson. Mathabatha and Makhurupetje are bitter rivals, while Msiza is Mathabatha’s long-time confidant turned rival.