Tshwane ANC regional chairman hopes to ‘smoke the peace pipe’ with rivals

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The regional conference over the weekend saw Eugene Modise elected president of the Tshwane ANC region.

  • The ANC in Tshwane held a divided regional conference this weekend.
  • The conference has experienced delays due to ongoing litigation and threats of legal action.
  • Eugene Modise was elected with his entire slate at the conference, but his election was not well received by his rival’s faction.

Despite a very divided reception to his elevation to the post of regional president of the ANC’s Tshwane region, Eugene “Bonzo” Modise believes that democracy has prevailed and that those who are unhappy with his election will rally behind him.

The former regional secretary for the ANC’s Tshwane region won the fight to lead the ANC in the capital.

The entire Modise executive slate won by a wide margin at the regional conference, which saw hours of delays and threats of legal action.

Modise edged out his rival and former regional president Kgosi Maepa with 174 votes.

Maepa managed to obtain 84 votes.

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Others elected alongside Modise included Frans Boshielo as vice-president, George Matjila as regional president, Sydwell Manana as deputy secretary and Simphiwe Mbatha retained his position as treasurer.

The conference room at the Indaba Hotel in Fourways was divisive as the results were announced – with those aligned with Maepa, and the former chief himself remaining seated as those supporting Modise cheered his victory.

Delegates pleased with Modise’s rise to power made it clear which slate his victory was lined up on ahead of the ANC Gauteng provincial conference scheduled for the end of June.

The band continuously sang “Adiwele”, a song used in reference to Gauteng MEC Lebogang Maile’s campaign to be elected ANC Gauteng President.

There were several issues with branch qualifying that delayed the start of the conference on Saturday. A failed legal threat by Maepa-aligned branches added twist to the conference agenda.

Several votes had been quarantined and canceled due to pending disputed branches.

The votes had not yet been opened and were unlikely to have an impact on the election due to the large margins obtained by Modise.

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Modise said the region was ready to unite despite the cold reception given to his election by Maepa supporters.

The region had faced divisions and infighting in the past. These divisions had been used to explain the decline in ANC support for Tshwane.

modified said:

We should focus on repositioning the ANC for 2024 and beyond. This is the task on which we will concentrate as members of the office. We are determined to unite the region, and we are determined to go into lost ground and restore the image of the ANC to its glory days.

“We will make sure that those who left the party because they were unhappy come back. So that they become members of the ANC and are satisfied with the processes in the region,” he added.

In reclaiming the city, he said the ANC was focused on ensuring that the AD-led coalition in Tshwane would not return in 2026. He said the party did its soul-searching after failing to gain enough support to govern Tshwane. The ANC lost full control of Tshwane after the 2016 local elections.

Infighting among members over manipulations of the list of councilors and the mayoral election dominated the party’s campaign in 2016, resulting in huge losses.

“We run 70 neighborhoods in the region which tells us that people still have faith in us. We just need to clean our house and make sure they come back to the ANC,” Modise said.


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