Youth sup­port Lamola in ANC’s Mpumalanga chair­per­son race

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

For­mer ANC Youth League (ANCYL) deputy pres­i­dent Ronald Lamola’s name has be­ing thrown into the hat to con­test for the po­si­tion of Mpumalanga ANC chair­per­son. He would re­place Pre­mier David Mabuza, who is be­ing punted for a top na­tional po­si­tion in the party.

Lamola’s pop­u­lar­ity among youth league mem­bers man­i­fested it­self dur­ing the Mpumalanga ANCYL pro­vin­cial gen­eral coun­cil last week­end, when they shouted his name as Mabuza con­firmed that he was def­i­nitely leav­ing the province and would pre­fer to have a younger per­son succeed him. Mabuza and Lamola pub­licly buried the hatchet a month ago, un­der­tak­ing to work to­gether to pro­mote unity in the province.

Mabuza also sur­prised his mem­bers at that meet­ing when he an­nounced that he wanted Lamola to as­sist him in his quest to bring Eco­nomic Free­dom Fight­ers (EFF) leader Julius Malema back into the ANC fold.

Al­though noth­ing has been of­fi­cially con­firmed, the ANCYL mem­bers seemed to be en­dors­ing Lamola to succeed Mabuza as pro­vin­cial ANC chair­per­son. How­ever, this may cause dis­com­fort among se­nior ANC mem­bers in the province. Many sources have dis­missed this en­dorse­ment from the league’s del­e­gates as im­plau­si­ble.

Two ANCYL sources told City Press that Lamola was also be­ing con­sid­ered for the po­si­tion as chair of the Bohla­bela re­gion in Bush­buck­ridge, which is where he comes from, as an al­ter­na­tive and a ca­reer step­ping stone.

“There’s a plan un­der dis­cus­sion for him to be the re­gional chair­per­son. The four re­gional con­fer­ences are tak­ing place in the first week of April,” said an ANCYL source.

“We know that the chair­per­son [Mabuza] is also ruled out Lamola’s chances of suc­ceed­ing Mabuza: “That will not hap­pen. Where will most of the se­nior mem­bers be when that hap­pens?”

Lamola de­nied any knowl­edge about be­ing “pro­posed” to take any po­si­tion in Mpumalanga. “I’ve not been ap­proached by any struc­ture in the re­gion or province,” he said.

How­ever, Lamola said he sup­ported the idea of court­ing Malema back to the ANC, say­ing that in­ter­nal pro­cesses would have to be fol­lowed. This would in­clude get­ting a man­date from the party to re­scind the de­ci­sion to ex­pel him.

The EFF dis­missed any pos­si­bil­ity that Malema would re­turn to the ANC.

EFF spokesper­son Mbuyiseni Nd­lozi said: “Malema will never be re­cruited into any po­lit­i­cal work or for­ma­tion by a klep­to­crat like Mabuza, who rep­re­sents ev­ery­thing that is wrong about the rul­ing party [ANC]; he is like Zuma’s first-born klep­to­ma­niac. Like all klep­to­crats, they suf­fer deep ide­o­log­i­cal bank­ruptcy be­cause all they know is cor­rup­tion.”

Lamola is one of a num­ber of ANC mem­bers who were side­lined and who Mabuza has been lur­ing in his at­tempt to unite the or­gan­i­sa­tion. Mabuza has also not given up on dis­solv­ing the Bush­buck­ridge Res­i­dents As­so­ci­a­tion, which splin­tered from the ANC in 2011. A source said a big an­nounce­ment re­lated to the “project” would be made over the com­ing days.

Mabuza’s plan was to take a united and stronger ANC province to the na­tional con­fer­ence in De­cem­ber, where he is eye­ing the deputy pres­i­dency po­si­tion. His strat­egy is to use his abil­ity to unite the ANC as a ticket to a top-six po­si­tion.

At the mo­ment, he ap­pears to be the only con­tender for a top-six po­si­tion with sup­port from all Mpumalanga’s pro­vin­cial struc­tures.

PHOTO: LLEWELYN PRINCE

Andile Mngxi­tama and Ronald Lamola

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