Johannesburg – likelihood of a stolen ANC elective conference has become the biggest concern after Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu was booted from the Top Six position when the ANC electoral committee ruled that she had not met the threshold to contest the president position.

Sources within Sisulu’s team said she was being barred from contesting the elections to make way for another Cyril Ramaphosa election. This comes after accusations that Ramaphosa bought the last elections to become party president.

On Saturday, some members of the committee distanced themselves and refused to be drawn over the comments made by committee spokesperson Livhuwani Matsila, and the accusations that the committee had been enlisted to ensure that Sisulu’s candidature for the position of ANC president at the 55th elective conference at Nasrec does not see the light of day.

One member of the committee told The Star that she can’t speak on the issue, adding that she has seen the Sisulu letter calling for the committee to give her the raw audited data that has seen her being ruled out of the election.

Sisulu’s team said that Matsila without being mandated by the committee claimed Sisulu did not meet the threshold to be one of the contenders for the ANC’s top position. Some members are of the view that what Matsila did could place the committee into disrepute, especially if Sisulu was able to prove irregularities in the process.

They are worried about what would be the recourse. Equally, they do concede that Sisulu’s letter was treated differently from other disputes because “we normally discuss and look into the merits of each case, but this one was not even discussed or brought to our attention”, said one member who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Another member said: “Sisulu could easily and understandably accuse the ANC electoral committee of doing President Ramaphosa’s bidding of ensuring that he wins the upcoming (election) race to retain his position as the ANC president at all costs, at the expense of our individual credibilities because of our own internal lapses and people who use this committee for their own personal ambitions.

“The member wishes that Sisulu’s case be entertained and looked at, rather than being attacked in the public media by someone we didn’t even authorise to speak on our behalf. People are just desperate for fame at our expense.”

Sisulu who was this week “artificially eliminated” from the race due to what the committee termed “inadequate nominations” said the chairperson of the committee Kgalema Motlanthe was not the author of the letter written to her after she lodged a dispute on the number of irregularities in the outcomes of the nomination which were not consistent with the number of nominations she received.

She alleged that the letter was written at night, was not discussed, and it was just handled by an individual who had to cover his tracks. The letter was not even seen by the committee members, some only came across it in the

media. When they were asked if they will speak out, they said they feared victimisation, citing many wrongs were happening in the committee, hence they have distanced themselves from Matsila’s public reaction.

According to an insider in the camp, Sisulu was reported to be of the view that the committee was refusing to grant her access to the “audited raw data of nomination outcomes, which has resulted in Ramaphosa facing off with Dr Zweli Mkhize for the position”.

She said the release of these numbers would be able to lift the lid on irregularities that have made her a casualty of corruption to contest the position of ANC president at the upcoming conference.

According to those sympathetic to Sisulu, the committee was colluding with the president, adding this was a ploy to ensure Ramaphosa won by hook or crook. They don’t rule out that Mkhize, who is facing allegations of corruption, won’t be charged in the next two weeks, so Ramaphosa is not contested.

“This is all about ensuring that Ramaphosa wins. They know that Zweli Mkhize is on the back foot. They have eliminated Sisulu from the race and ensured that she does not participate, as she could give Ramaphosa stiff competition because they know that Mkhize will be charged in the next two weeks,” a women’s league leader told The Star.

Sisulu who has been one of the strongest critics of Ramaphosa ahead of the 55th ANC national conference has been seen as a threat to Ramaphosa’s second-term bid.

Some within the ANC have also accused him of trying to buy the elections through the ANC electoral commission and other structures.

On Friday, Sisulu wrote a letter to chairperson Motlanthe and the ANC electoral commission seeking to be granted access to the raw data that resulted in her being eliminated, and where she seeks to be granted permission to study the raw data of the nominations and its outcomes.

This comes after she had lodged a dispute over the outcomes of the nominations after her name was not included on the list of those set to contest Ramaphosa as ANC president at Nasrec.

She said in her second letter to Motlanthe: “In the main, what I was requesting from you and your esteemed committee is the raw audited data of my nominations from all the branches that have nominated me. This request is premised on the fact that you are the responsible committee tasked to deal with such matters as mandated by the ANC. I am requesting that you retrieve all my nominations as tabulated and give them to me. I think that this is both fair and natural justice to honour my request,” Sisulu said.

Spokesperson for the ANC electoral commission Matsila has denied allegations that it cooked the numbers to ensure that Sisulu is eliminated from the race to contest Ramaphosa, this is in spite of complaints that Matsila had tampered with Sisulu’s nominations in both Vhembe and Mopani Region.

Speaking to The Star the committee spokesperson said that they had seen the letter requesting the committee to provide raw audited data and would be responding to that in the coming week.

“We have seen her letter to us on Friday.

“We are not in a rush to respond to her, but we will respond in due time, sometime next week. This is not something that needs to be rushed, but only a response which we will give next week,” Matsila added.

The Star

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