Tsh­wane ANC lead­er­ship race mo­tion dis­missed

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS / NEWS -

THE ANC in Tsh­wane has poured cold wa­ter on sug­ges­tions that in­cum­bent re­gional deputy chair­per­son Mapiti Mat­sena would go head to head with Dr Kgosi Maepa for the lead­er­ship po­si­tion at the up­com­ing elec­tive con­fer­ence.

It has been hinted that Maepa, a mem­ber of the ANC in the re­gion, is favoured by some of the branches to lead the party.

Kgosientso Ramok­gopa, the cur­rent chair­per­son, will not be avail­able to serve in the re­gion be­cause he has am­bi­tions to serve at pro­vin­cial level, ac­cord­ing to party in­sid­ers.

Re­gional sec­re­tary Paul Mo­japelo de­clined to talk about the pos­si­ble con­tes­ta­tion be­tween Mat­sena and Maepa, warn­ing that those likely to en­ter­tain the news risked plung­ing the or­gan­i­sa­tion into chaos.

“Those names don’t ex­ist any­where in our vo­cab­u­lary. Any­one who would give re­sponse to that would plunge the or­gan­i­sa­tion into chaos,” Mo­japelo said.

He was com­ment­ing on con­cerns raised by party mem­ber Hen­drick Makaneta, also an ed­u­ca­tion ac­tivist, that a con­test be­tween the two could deepen di­vi­sions within the re­gional struc­ture.

Makaneta, who served in for­mer city mayor Ramok­gopa’s of­fice as the ex­ec­u­tive head, said a con­test for power by the pair should be avoided at all cost. Fail­ure to pre­vent such a po­lit­i­cal con­test could cost the party its strat­egy to re­claim Tsh­wane from the DA-led ad­min­is­tra­tion, he warned.

He had not yet en­gaged with the pro­vin­cial and re­gional struc­tures on the mat­ter, but was in­tended to do so soon. “We are still go­ing to ap­proach them on the mat­ter,” he said.

Makaneta said he had al­ready spo­ken to Maepa, in­di­cat­ing to him that there was no need for a lead­er­ship con­test in Tsh­wane.

“In light of the chal­lenges faced by the re­gion, it is very im­por­tant for com­rades to close ranks and work to­wards re­claim­ing the city from the DA. Any form of con­tes­ta­tion will de­feat this ob­jec­tive,” Makaneta said.

Tsh­wane will con­vene its re­gional pol­icy con­fer­ence to­mor­row. Mo­japelo said a date for an elec­tive con­fer­ence had not yet been set, but it would take place be­fore the end of this year.

Asked for com­ment, Mat­sena said: “The process to­wards our re­gional con­fer­ence has not yet been de­ter­mined. We are in the process of re­build­ing struc­tures of the ANC to win the con­fi­dence of the peo­ple of Tsh­wane.”

The ANC cau­cus leader in the coun­cil said the party was fo­cus­ing on how to deal with is­sues in coun­cil meet­ings. “The lead­er­ship con­tes­ta­tion is not part of our agenda,” he said.

ANC Youth League re­gional sec­re­tary Rat­shi Mashamba begged to dif­fer with Makaneta’s view that the con­test be­tween two can­di­dates could cause a rift in the party.

“The ANC is a demo­cratic or­gan­i­sa­tion. There is a dif­fer­ence be­tween di­vi­sion and con­test,” Mashamba said.

He also said the in­com­ing lead­er­ship would be much fo­cused on unit­ing the or­gan­i­sa­tion and build­ing the com­mu­nity’s con­fi­dence in the party. “We should not bar com­rades from con­test­ing for po­si­tions,” he said.

Mashamba said the stance of the youth league would be to build con­sen­sus around the lead­er­ship mat­ter by lob­by­ing other struc­tures such as the women’s league and the mother body.

“Where there is no con­sen­sus we must al­low com­rades to con­test each other,” he said.

At­tempts to ob­tain com­ment from Maepa were un­suc­cess­ful.

Mapiti Mat­sena

Kgosi Maepa

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