Pre­mier ‘purges’ Ramaphosa ally


DEPUTY Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa’s back­ers are cry­ing foul fol­low­ing the re­moval of one of his staunch sup­port­ers from North West pre­mier Supra Mahumapelo’s ex­ec­u­tive.

Mahumapelo, a Zuma ally, fired pub­lic works MEC Madoda Sam­batha for al­legedly sell­ing state land il­le­gally.

Sam­batha, who is also the SACP pro­vin­cial sec­re­tary, was re­moved two weeks af­ter en­dors­ing Ramaphosa as his party’s pre­ferred can­di­date at an event in Rusten­burg. His dis­missal has been in­ter­preted as a dec­la­ra­tion of war by Mahumapelo, who is known to pre­fer for­mer AU chair­woman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to be­come ANC pres­i­dent at the party’s elec­tive con­fer­ence in De­cem­ber.

SACP spokesman Alex Mashilo said Sam­batha’s “purge” was linked to the suc­ces­sion bat­tle.

“It needs to be lo­cated where it be­longs . . . in the broader po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion in­clud­ing wide­spread cor­po­rate state cap­ture, cor­rup­tion, rent-seek­ing and the fac­tion­al­ism that is de­stroy­ing our ANC-headed move­ment,” he said.

“He was re­moved as part and par­cel of fac­tional ma­noeu­vres to win the forth­com­ing ANC De­cem­ber na­tional con­fer­ence by all means, in­clud­ing purg­ing those who dis­agree with the rot and hold a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive.”

Mashilo said the land in ques­tion was sold long be­fore Sam­batha was ap­pointed MEC.

“Sam­batha has de­nied the al­le­ga­tion that he sold land il­le­gally. On the con­trary, he has pointed out that govern­ment’s own records and doc­u­ments show that the por­tion of land in ques­tion was sold be­fore he was ap­pointed MEC.

“He fur­ther pointed out the ma­te­rial ev­i­dence of ex­ist­ing del­e­ga­tion of au­thor­ity dat­ing to around 2015 on the trans­fer of the por­tion af­ter it was sold.”

Sam­batha was well known for “op­pos­ing the rot” and mo­bil­is­ing against it, Mashilo said.

Sam­batha could not be reached for com­ment yes­ter­day.

The Young Com­mu­nist League in the North West said it was not sur­prised by Mahumapelo’s ax­ing of Sam­batha. The league’s pro­vin­cial sec­re­tary Pa­batso Nt­soti said the pre­mier’s “des­per­ate move was over­clouded by po­lit­i­cal para­noia of the work­ing-class choice on who is to lead the ANC and the coun­try be­yond the De­cem­ber elec­tive con­fer­ence”.

But ANC pro­vin­cial sec­re­tary Dakota Le­goete said the party sup­ported Mahumapelo’s de­ci­sion. He said Sam­batha had ad­mit­ted at a meet­ing on Tues­day that fraud­u­lent doc­u­ments re­gard­ing the il­le­gal sale of the land bore his sig­na­ture. Sam­batha had told them he had been mis­led, Le­goete said.

STOP THE ROT: Madoda Sam­batha ‘op­posed cor­rup­tion’

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