Tshwane ANC leadership race motion dismissed
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.