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Sunday World - - Front Page - NG­WAKO MALATJI

THE names of two se­nior Lim­popo ANC women are be­ing bandied about as pos­si­ble re­place­ments for Pre­mier Stan Matha­batha.

Party in­sid­ers told Sun­day World that Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma would ap­point Lim­popo’s first woman pre­mier when he an­nounces his cab­i­net next week.

Four se­nior ANC of­fi­cials, who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity, said Zuma had iden­ti­fied Thembi Nwen­damutswu, the party’s provin­cial trea­surer, and Makoma Makhu­ru­petje, the deputy provin­cial sec­re­tary, as Matha­batha’s pos­si­ble re­place­ments.

Zuma is un­der pres­sure to im­ple­ment the party’s 50/50 gen­der pol­icy when ap­point­ing pre­miers of the eight prov­inces won by the ANC in the gen­eral elec­tions.

A se­nior party of­fi­cial con­firmed that Nwen­damutswu has emerged as Zuma’s favourite, but said her chances of as­cend­ing to the pow­er­ful po­si­tion were in doubt be­cause she failed to make it to the list of the three can­di­dates nom­i­nated by the provin­cial ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee (PEC) on Wed­nes­day.

The com­mit­tee nom­i­nated provin­cial chair­man Matha­batha, his deputy, Jerry Ndou, and Makhu­ru­petje.

The of­fi­cial also said Nwen­damutswu was, ac­cord­ing to the list cir­cu­lated among party mem­bers, ex­cluded from Matha­batha s cab­i­net of provin­cial min­is­ters if he re­tained his po­si­tion.

The list, which Sun­day World has seen, does not have Nwen­damutswu s name. But its au­then­tic­ity has not been ver­i­fied.

The of­fi­cial said that al­though it was Zuma’s pre­rog­a­tive to ap­point pre­miers, it would be dif­fi­cult for him to pick some­one who wasn’t on the rec­om­mended list be­cause this would di­vide the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Stan is No 1 on the list and it is clear that the PEC wants him to re­tain his po­si­tion be­cause Makoma is not yet ready to lead the prov­ince.

It was a strate­gic move by the PEC not to in­clude Thembi in the list, said the of­fi­cial.

An­other of­fi­cial said that if Zuma did not re­tain Matha­batha, he would be forced to de­ploy him to par­lia­ment.

Stan can­not be an MEC as that would be akin to de­mo­tion,” said the of­fi­cial.

An­other of­fi­cial said Zuma was un­likely to ap­point Nwen­damutswu be­cause that would cre­ate ruc­tions in the prov­ince.

The prov­ince has al­ways shied away from two cen­tres of power be­cause this has proven to be di­vi­sive. If Zuma ap­points her, Nwen­damutswu would lead govern­ment while Matha­batha would lead the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

And know­ing her, she would not want to be re­duced to a lame duck pre­mier. She is very in­de­pen­dent and would not want Stan to mi­cro­man­age her or dic­tate how she should run govern­ment. The same can be said about Makoma,” said the of­fi­cial.

Nwen­damutswu down­played sug­ges­tions that she might take over from Matha­batha.

The pres­i­dent has not ap­proached me about that,” she said.

Nei­ther Makhu­ru­petje nor Matha­batha could be reached for com­ment.

Khum­budzo Nt­shavheni, the spokes­woman for the ANC in Lim­popo, could nei­ther con­firm nor deny that the trio had been nom­i­nated for the pre­mier­ship po­si­tion.

It is the pre­rog­a­tive of the pres­i­dent to ap­point pre­miers. But there is no sub­stance to al­le­ga­tions that there is di­vi­sion over Thembi be­cause Stan and Thembi were elected un­con­tested dur­ing the elec­tive con­fer­ence.”

Nt­shavheni dis­missed claims that Zuma is con­sid­er­ing Nwen­damutswu and Makhu­ru­petje as pos­si­ble re­place­ments for Matha­batha.

The process to sub­mit names has not even started so that can’t be valid or true.”

The pres­i­dent will be sworn in in Pre­to­ria on Satur­day.

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