Nafcoc presidential race deadlocks as factionalism rears its head

2018-11-28 09:22

The National African Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Nafcoc) conference has still not produced a new president after a highly contested race resulted in a tie between National African Farmers’ Union (Nafu) President Motsepe Matlala and former chief executive of the organisation, Sabelo Macingwane.

This after Monga Phaladi, outgoing Nafcoc secretary, lost out in the race for the president. The elections process, which was held at the Protea Hotel Edward in Durban, lasted well into the early hours of Wednesday and was supposed to end the near-decade long reign of outgoing president Lawrence Mavundla.

Nafcoc is one of South Africa’s largest business chambers and aims to be a voice for the welfare of small businesses. Its history dates back to the 1960s, and its association with the ANC has seen it being involved in the drafting of numerous laws, including those guiding the principles of black economic empowerment. However, lately the organisation has been hamstrung by infighting and factionalism.

The long-anticipated elections were held under a threat of a court interdict after the organisation received a letter of demand from attorneys representing the sidelined faction led by one of the organisation’s leaders in Limpopo.

The letter, which City Press has seen, was delivered on Monday to the outgoing Mavundla and was sent after another letter from another senior member, Duma Makanda, was sent last week pleading for the faction not to be sidelined.

Speaking to City Press shortly before the annual general meeting started on Tuesday, the lawyer for the sidelined faction, Thokwane Moloto, said that although Nafcoc had not responded to the letter with an undertaking that elections would not be held, there was a plan to approach the courts to nullify whatever results the meeting produced.

In the letter, members agreed that the conference could go ahead as planned, but there should not be elections until the working committee set up by the stalwarts had finished its intended work of unifying the organisation.

According to a number of sources City Press spoke to, Nafcoc Youth Chamber’s Tshepo Matsaba narrowly lost to Nafcoc Mpumalanga chair Steve Skhosana, who was appointed Nafcoc secretary.

Gilbert Mosena is the new deputy president, replacing another former presidential candidate, Churchill Mrasi.

The new first and second vice-presidents are Thandazile Khumalo and Andy Tladi. The new treasurer is Boetie Letsoela, and the new chairperson is Isaac Masekwameng.

A programme of the two-day event bills former president of the organisation Patrice Motsepe as among the dignitaries to deliver a speech on Wednesday at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre. Motsepe, through a spokesperson, declined to confirm this or comment on the matter.

However, according to a highly placed source close to the matter, the mining magnate was not keen to attend the event because of the ongoing feud among factions.

Efforts to get comment from Mavundla proved fruitless. Several phone calls went unanswered.

Lesetja Malope
Business writer
City Press
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February 23 2020