ANC in Limpopo backtracks on Motlanthe endorsement

2012-09-18 13:36

The ANC leadership in Limpopo has backtracked on its public endorsement of Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe as their preferred candidate to replace President Jacob Zuma.

The Limpopo ANC issued the statement late last night and its authenticity was confirmed to City Press by its two spokespersons, Makonde Mathivha and Mandisa Mashego.

The statement said the province would also back Tokyo Sexwale for deputy president, Fikile Mbalula for secretary-general, Thandi Modise for deputy secretary-general, Mathews Phosa for treasurer-general and Thenjiwe Mtintso for national chairperson.

The announcement followed a discussion by the provincial leadership at its meeting in Polokwane yesterday on who it would back in Mangaung in December.

However, this afternoon provincial secretary Soviet Lekganyane said the provincial leadership was “retracting” the statement, even though he claimed that he had “learnt with shock” that the statement was doing the rounds.

“We want to put it on record that the provincial secretary, Soviet Lekganyane as the chief spokesperson of the ANC in the province, does not know anything about a provincial executive committee (PEC) decision to that effect.

“We therefore dismiss the statement as utter nonsense and mendacious. The PEC will investigate this matter and take appropriate action,” Lekganyane said.

Limpopo is the only province where the national government runs half the provincial government, and the province has been at odds with Zuma over the takeover.

Lekganyane said any queries about Mangaung should be directed to his office.

When City Press called to find out how the statement could have been issued without his knowledge, he said he was in Johannesburg and only became aware of the statement when Premier Cassel Mathale sent him a text message about it.

“I don’t know anything about that statement. It doesn’t represent the PEC. As the PEC we are talking to other provinces, so when we know the strength of other provinces, we can pronounce on leadership,” Lekganyane said.

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