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South Africa’s ANC to discipline members who supported Morocco’s candidacy for UCLG

South Africa’s African National Congress has promised to discipline members who refused to reject Morocco’s candidacy for chair of the United Cities and Local Government. In a statement published by its secretary-general, the party reiterated its position regarding the Kingdom.

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Moroccan mayor Mohamed Boudra at the Congress of the United Cities and Local Government (UCLG) in South AFrica. / Ph. DR

South Africa's governing political party has come out against Morocco’s candidacy for chair of the Congress of the United Cities and Local Government (UCLG). Days after Moroccan mayor Mohamed Boudra was elected in South Africa as the new president of the UCLG, the secretary-general of the African National Congress (ANC) fumed against the party’s members who supported Morocco’s bid to head the international organization.

In a statement relayed by Times Live on Tuesday, Ace Magashule said that South African mayors who attended the UCLG event and opposed his «instruction to reject Morocco’s candidacy» will be disciplined.

«These individual ANC members have done so despite having been instructed by the secretary-general of the ANC, who is the administrative custodian and day-to-day guardian of the (party’s) national conference resolutions and policy positions of the ANC, not to support Morocco’s candidature», Magashule said in a statement sent to South African media.

According to the same source, the instructions given by ANC’s secretary-general were backed by similar ones from the National Executive Committee for international relations. «The ANC herewith formally distances itself from the ill-disciplined actions of some individual members of our organization, who acted without any mandate from the ANC», the same statement added.

ANC's and the Sahara issue

Friday in Durban, Al Hoceima’s mayor Mohamed Boudra came first after the Russian candidate Ilsur Metshin withdrew from the competition, becoming the new chair of the UCLG, an umbrella international organization for cities, local and regional governments as well as municipal associations throughout the world that is concerned with representing and defending the interests of local governments on the world stage.

Boudra’s election and the statement that followed the event in South Africa shows that the country’s ruling party is still hostile to the Kingdom, despite efforts to strengthen diplomatic ties between Rabat and Pretoria.

In the same press release, ANC’s secretary-general stressed that his party «at no stage in any manner whatsoever supported, or considered supporting, the candidature of Morocco», reiterating «its principled support for the people of the Western Sahara, and reaffirming its call to Morocco to immediately end its illegal and brutal occupation of the Western Sahara».

«The conduct of the ANC as an organization, and those of our members who are delegated to represent us at forums and meetings, must always be beyond reproach, principled and informed by our formal policy positions. This must be true, both nationally and internationally».

ANC's secretary-general

It is worth mentioning that Pretoria approved, in March, a Moroccan ambassador to South Africa, putting an end to a 15-year-old diplomatic rupture. Assuming office earlier this year, Youssef Amrani pledged earlier in November to deepen diplomatic ties with South Africa for an inclusive development in Africa.

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