ANCWL Bed Scroll Organizer.
- The African National Congress Women’s League is hosting an election conference at Nasrik in Johannesburg this weekend.
- The league has been led by a staff since 2022, when its CEO’s term expired.
- Balika Mbete, a member of the ANC’s Women’s League, told delegates this The league played a significant role in the factional battles at the 2007 ANC Polokwane Conference and in the years after that contentious meeting.
In a crucial political report delivered at the ANC Women’s League conference late Friday, Balika Mbete told delegates that the league was wounded and divided by the factional battles that unfolded at the 2007 ANC conference in Polokwane.
Mbeti, the organizer of the ANCWL’s National Action Team, said the Polokwane conference divided all aspects of the ANC, including the ANCWL.
She said history will show how women in the league played a role in dividing the ANC.
“The post-Polukwani faction environment had a very negative impact on all movement structures at all levels. Women were also affected because they were part of the movement and all its formations. It is a fact that when history is captured it will show how accurately and how much this pollution is reflected as women,” Mibet said in the report.
The Polokwane conference saw former President Jacob Zuma compete for the presidency of the African National Congress against his predecessor, Thabo Mbeki.
The conference saw the emergence of members who were marginalized or rewarded depending on which group they belonged to.
Mbit said the party has remained widely divided along factional lines since then.
The 2017 ANC Congress, which saw the election of Cyril Ramaphosa as President, saw similar battle lines drawn as ANCWL members sided for or against Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the Minister in the Presidency responsible for Women, Youth and People with Disabilities.
Mbeti said the divisions had led to a weakening of the ANC and a sharp decline in elections in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
She said the ANCWL had to discuss how the ANC could undo its electoral performance.
“This conference must find space to discuss the issues raised in this document. The document itself raises the question of how we have a revolutionary duty to defeat the demon of factionalism, which has weakened the movement.
“This will not only strengthen the ANC… A strong ANC is needed in 2024. The need for the women’s league to be the best and strongest cannot be overemphasized. The beginning of this is to reform and retrace our steps as the women of the coalition, not superficially, but genuinely. The truth will fundamentally liberate and strengthen us.”
Mbete was appointed as one of several ANCWL staff members in 2022 after the league was dissolved due to an expiring executive term. She said that the team was tasked with rebuilding the league’s structures and leading it to a conference, which was not an easy task.
Despite the incoherent structure ahead of the party’s electoral conference last December, Mbeti said the league had some wins but more was needed.
She considered the creation of the position of the second Deputy General Secretary in the leadership of the ANC in the Electoral Conference as a win. This position is held by Marubeen Ramukjuba, who is also the Minister in the Presidency responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation.
The goal, Mbeti said, is to ensure women’s representation is reflected more broadly, with goals of buying for black women and increasing the number of black women represented on campuses and appointing them to lead chancellors on universities.
Friday’s ANCWL convention has been postponed as some delegates from the Northwest still need to register.
will be elected New league leadershipAnd former ANCWL president Batabile Dlamini will run for a second term.
Nominations and voting are likely to take place later on Saturday.
The conference is expected to conclude on Sunday with a closing address by President Cyril Ramaphosa.