Three “mass resignation” rallies from the African National Congress are to be staged in the Western Cape this weekend, party members said on Friday.

They said branches in the Boland, Southern Cape and West Coast regions of the province plan to meet in Citrusdal, Paarl and Plettenberg Bay to hand in their membership cards in advance of next weekend’s national convention in Bloemfontein, called by former defence minister Mosiuoa Lekota.

The ANC suspended the membership of Lekota — the former chairperson of the party — on October 13 after he said he would hold a convention to discuss the possibility of forming a new political party.

A spokesperson for Moegamat Matjiet, former Boland regional secretary of the ANC, said Matjiet and other leading local ANC figures would head the rally at a sports ground in Paarl at noon on Saturday.

Mululeki George, former deputy defence minister, is billed as a guest speaker at a similar rally in the Southern Cape region of Plettenberg Bay, scheduled to start at noon on Sunday.

Local ANC leader, Zamile Xiphula, who describes himself as an “expired” local councillor, having already resigned from the ANC, maintains that “every ward” in the area would be represented at the rally.

Similar confidence was expressed by former Western Cape provincial ANC executive member Ornel de Beer, who is in charge of a West Coast rally to be held in the Vicky Zimry community hall in Citrusdal on Sunday, startingat noon.

“We expect a really big turnout,” he said.