Several hundred African National Congress dissidents met for three hours in Cape Town on Saturday, but a spokesman said afterwards they had not discussed the formation of a new party.
“We’re not talking about a new party. We have not engaged on that,” said Mbulelo Ncedana, axed secretary of the party’s Dullah Omar region, which includes the Cape Metro.
“Ours for now is to get the ANC in order. We want to bring back the dignity of the ANC.”
The meeting follows last week’s controversial provincial conference in the city centre, when Ncedana organised an alternative meeting of several hundred people, claiming fraud in the way official delegates were decided.
The dissidents asked the party’s national leadership to intervene.
The provincial conference, after electing a pro-Jacob Zuma leadership, decided to disband the executive committee of Dullah Omar, which has about 30,000 members and 85 branches.
Ncedana, who is also leader of the ANC’s caucus in the Cape Town city council, said Saturday’s meeting in a Langa community hall was attended by branch chairs from the Dullah Omar, Overberg, Boland, West Coast and Southern Cape regions.
He said there had been no response to the complaint to the national ANC, and those at the meeting had resolved that they would continue to not recognise the outcome of the provincial conference.
They had also decided to engage with other provinces that shared their concern about the direction the ANC was taking and how it treated its members.
They had resolved that they would fight “to retain the legacy and dignity that the majority of the people in South Africa rightly fought for”.
They would have another meeting next week, after reporting back to branches and getting a mandate on the way forward.
“I think generally people are frustrated with what is happening in the ANC,” Ncedana said.
This frustration went beyond the Western Cape to turmoil in other provinces.
“The engagement with other provinces is to find a solution within the ANC, and therefore the processes will be taken from there,” he said.
“We want to engage with other provinces [on] the challenges that they are faced with. Surely you are not going to get… the Eastern Cape, the Northern Cape, Limpopo, saying the same thing.
“But then after that we must consider all this information and make our own mind as the Western Cape.”