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’