ANC ‘split’ over Supra re­place­ment

The top six are said to want dif­fer­ent can­di­dates for North West premier, along fac­tional lines

Mail & Guardian - - News - Ma­tuma Let­soalo

The ANC’s top six of­fi­cials are di­vided on a can­di­date to re­place North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo, amid mount­ing pub­lic pres­sure for the party to take de­ci­sive ac­tion against him.

Mahumapelo with­drew his res­ig­na­tion on Wed­nes­day af­ter the ANC’s provin­cial ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee (PEC) in North West ad­vised him against step­ping down. In­stead, the em­bat­tled premier said the PEC had de­cided that he should take a leave of ab­sence, with fi­nance MEC Wendy Nel­son step­ping in as act­ing premier.

ANC in­sid­ers told the Mail & Guardian this week that the party’s top six of­fi­cials have dif­fer­ent can­di­dates in mind to re­place Mahumapelo.

ANC deputy pres­i­dent David Mabuza is said to pre­fer the chair­per­son of the Na­tional Coun­cil of Prov­inces, Thandi Modise; party sec­re­tary gen­eral Ace Ma­gashule ap­par­ently sup­ports the PEC’s and Mahumapelo’s choice, Jo­hannes Tse­la­pedi. ANC pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa is said to have agreed with Mahumapelo when they met last week that Tse­la­pedi would take the reins while cor­rup­tion al­le­ga­tions against the premier are probed, but this was re­jected by Ramaphosa’s sup­port­ers.

ANC chair­per­son Gwede Man­tashe has told those close to him that he wanted mem­ber of the provin­cial leg­is­la­ture Mmaphefo Matsemela to take over as the prov­ince’s number one ci­ti­zen.

The anti-Mahumapelo fac­tion in the prov­ince — in­clud­ing for­mer ANC provin­cial chair China Dodovu, for­mer NEC mem­ber Philly Ma­pu­lane and South African Com­mu­nist Party provin­cial chair Madoda Sam­batha — are push­ing for provin­cial vet­er­ans’ league leader Zakes Tolo to take over from Mahumapelo.

“CR [Ramaphosa] had agreed that Tse­la­pedi will re­place Mahumapelo, but the is­sue was who should re­sign from the leg­is­la­ture [to en­able him to come in] because Tse­la­pedi is not a mem­ber of the leg­is­la­ture,” said an ANC na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee (NEC) mem­ber.

“It was sug­gested that ANC MPL Ndle­leni Duma should re­sign due to ill health to make way for Tse­la­pedi, but he re­fused. It was then that Mahumapelo vol­un­teered to re­sign, but the PEC re­versed his de­ci­sion af­ter they re­alised some of the na­tional lead­ers were push­ing for Zakes Tolo,” the NEC mem­ber added.

ANC spokesper­son Pule Mabe said sug­ges­tions that there were dif­fer­ences among the top six of­fi­cials were part of the on­go­ing project to un­der­mine the party’s unity. He said the ANC was fo­cus­ing on strength­en­ing its elec­tion ma­chin­ery ahead of next year’s cru­cial gen­eral elec­tions.

Mean­while, ANC in­sid­ers told the M&G this week that sup­port­ers of for­mer pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma in North West, the Free State, KwaZulu-Na­tal and the East­ern Cape were threatening to boy­cott the party’s elec­tion campaign if Ramaphosa sup­port­ers did not stop “purg­ing” those who sup­ported Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma for the po­si­tion of ANC pres­i­dent in De­cem­ber.

ANC head of elec­tions and cam­paign­ing Fik­ile Mbalula said he was aware of the threats but dis­missed sug­ges­tions that Ramaphosa sup­port­ers were get­ting rid of those who had backed Dlamini-Zuma.

“These are is­sues that are ped­dled out there, mo­bil­is­ing mem­bers around the no­tion of be­ing purged. But we need to con­front those is­sues as an or­gan­i­sa­tion. If there are peo­ple who have the agenda of purg­ing peo­ple, then they have not suc­ceeded,” said Mbalula.

He pointed to his own re­moval from Cabi­net, which he did not re­gard as a purge, as an ex­am­ple. Mbalula said that some prob­lems had ex­isted long be­fore Ramaphosa’s elec­tion, es­pe­cially in North West, and that peo­ple’s frus­tra­tions there had led to re­bel­lion in some quar­ters.

“As we speak now, is­sues of KZN [KwaZulu-Na­tal] are be­ing pro­cessed … It’s a very dif­fi­cult prov­ince. Its chal­lenges did not start now, postNas­rec. We have to deal with these is­sues by en­gag­ing with com­rades.”

Mbalula lam­basted mem­bers of the North West PEC for re­vers­ing Mahumapelo’s de­ci­sion to re­sign.

“That’s ab­so­lute an­ar­chy. They [the PEC] must en­gage with the na­tional leadership of the ANC, not through press con­fer­ences, because demo­cratic cen­tral­ism holds … Supra him­self is be­ing chal­lenged and ac­cused of purg­ing com­rades. We know for a fact that there are a lot of com­rades who find them­selves out on the streets in North West, and they have com­plained about that,” said Mbalula. He said Mahumapelo needed to sub­ject him­self to the de­ci­sion of the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

“I did not like the fact that I was told to leave Cabi­net to go to Luthuli House, but I love my or­gan­i­sa­tion more than the po­si­tion.” He said for­mer pres­i­dents Zuma and Thabo Mbeki had not finished their terms because “de­ci­sions had to be taken and com­rades had to com­ply”. —

In or out: Supra Mahumapelo is on a ‘leave of ab­sence’ while be­ing probed for cor­rup­tion, but who­ever is cho­sen for the hot seat may in­di­cate where the bal­ance of power in the prov­ince lies. Photo: Del­wyn Verasamy

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.