ANC splin­ter group tor­pe­does Mabuza’s plan

CityPress - - News - SIZWE SAMA YENDE sizwe.yende@city­press.co.za

Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza’s over­ture to lure a small but threat­en­ing po­lit­i­cal party back into the ANC has hit a snag. Mabuza’s ne­go­ti­a­tions with the Bush­buck­ridge Res­i­dents As­so­ci­a­tion (BRA) had been at an ad­vanced stage, and they were about to con­clude a deal when the BRA’s pres­i­dent, Delta Mokoena, last week lost an ap­peal in court and be­gan serv­ing a 10-year sen­tence for vig­i­lante crimes. Get­ting the BRA back into the ANC would have given Mabuza’s at­tempts to unite and re­grow the ANC a boost as he pre­pares to con­test the party’s deputy pres­i­dency post this year. How­ever, at a spe­cial con­fer­ence on Fe­bru­ary 22 in Acorn­hoek, the BRA sus­pended its sec­re­tary and its sole mem­ber in the Mpumalanga leg­is­la­ture, Cleopas Maunye, who was at the cen­tre of the talks, but was ac­cused of sell­ing out to the ANC. The BRA’s act­ing sec­re­tary, Jo­hannes Ndlovu, said Mokoena had said he needed to con­sult the BRA’s mem­bers, but Maunye con­tin­ued with the ne­go­ti­a­tions. Maunye will face a dis­ci­plinary hear­ing soon, which will de­ter­mine the fate of his po­si­tion in the pro­vin­cial leg­is­la­ture. Maunye ac­cepted his or­gan­i­sa­tion’s de­ci­sion, say­ing he was still com­mit­ted to pro­grammes to unite the peo­ple of Bush­buck­ridge, who are di­vided along tribal lines that per­pet­u­ate the apartheid legacy. He said many com­pe­tent peo­ple in the re­gion were not given the op­por­tu­nity to serve in gov­ern­ment be­cause they come from “a tribe” that was dis­crim­i­nated against. “If the BRA can ne­go­ti­ate with the ANC, we can break that bar­rier and peo­ple can get de­ploy­ments and em­ploy­ment [eq­ui­tably],” he said. City Press un­der­stands that even though he is in jail, Mokoena was par­tic­u­larly con­cerned that Maunye could end up get­ting a higher po­si­tion than him within the ANC’s pro­vin­cial ex­ec­u­tive if the deal went through while he was locked up. Pro­vin­cial ANC sec­re­tary Mandla Ndlovu said the ANC would still try to ne­go­ti­ate, adding that it was un­fair to pun­ish Maunye be­cause the ANC had met with many BRA lead­ers.

DAVID MABUZA

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