Cape Town – A defiant Andile Lungisa has until Thursday to resign from his ANC regional leadership position, or face the consequences.
Lungisa was recently elected as the chairperson of the ANC in Nelson Mandela Bay, two years after the regional structure was disbanded.
However, the ANC top six have called for his resignation, saying it goes against the party’s constitution for Lungisa, a member of the provincial executive committee (PEC), to take a leadership role in a regional structure.
The calls were echoed by ANC provincial secretary Oscar Mabuyane, who on Monday told Lungisa that he had to resign by Thursday.
“Failure to heed this advice may lead to disciplinary action being considered against you,” the provincial secretary said.
On Wednesday, Lungisa told News24 that he could not comment on whether or not he would heed the call, as the matter was being dealt with internally. He also would not say if he had resigned from the PEC or not.
But in a letter he sent to ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe last week, and which News24 has seen, Lungisa tells the party he did not elect himself, and therefore he cannot just step down.
‘Not within our powers to dissolve ourselves’
“The decision was taken by branch delegates, together with the members of the PEC and the [national executive committee] who were in attendance at the regional conference. It therefore cannot be my decision whether or not I step down.
“Nor can it be the decision of the [regional executive committee]. If the PEC or the NEC [national executive committee] instructs the dissolution of the REC [regional executive committee], we shall comply with the decision.
The letter from ANC provincial secretary Oscar Mabuyane giving Andile Lungisa an ultimatum. (Supplied)
“At the present moment, it is not within our powers to dissolve ourselves. Your letter indicates that the matter will be referred to the NEC. It is presumed that the purpose of referring the matter to the NEC is for its deliberation and decision. It would be out of step with the status and responsibility of the NEC if such a matter was referred to the NEC as a fait accompli,” he wrote.
In the letter, he said he understood that the matter had been referred to the NEC for a binding and final decision to be taken.
“It stands to reason that prior to the final decision of the NEC on the matter, the secretary general lacks authority to instruct the elected chairperson of the region to stand down. Should that be the understanding in the matter, it would be in conflict with the provisions of the constitution and undermine the role of the NEC as the highest decision-making body in the organisation, between conferences.
“In order to ensure that there is no misunderstanding, I will step down from the position of chairperson, should I be advised to do so pursuant to the decision of the NEC. At this point in time, it is our understanding that the matter is still pending before the NEC, and as such the elected leadership shall be remaining in its position.”
In a Facebook Live interview on Wednesday, Mabuyane said they had hoped for an amicable solution to the problem, but that it did not look like they were going to get it.