Angie fails to make the cut

2013-01-20 10:00

Minister of basic education not among supermembers on the national working committee.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga was left out of the post-Mangaung ANC national working committee (NWC) that was elected this week.

Motshekga’s exclusion comes as a shock as she is seen as a keen supporter of president Jacob Zuma.

The newly elected committee represents a “closing of the ranks” around Zuma, party leaders say.

A national executive committee (NEC) member who was at Thursday’s meeting, where the 20 members of the NWC were elected, said the party “doesn’t want people who will break ranks” in the committee.

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe denied people got appointed to the NWC on the basis of their loyalty to Zuma, but he admitted that the party wanted people who would rally behind him.

“Why should we set up committees and go and look for people who are opposed to Zuma? He is the president of the ANC,” he said.

The NEC source said the non-election of Motshekga to the committee showed she was “not in favour at the moment”.

This was confirmed by two sources with knowledge of the process.

One of the sources, who was involved in lobbying for leadership positions in Mangaung, said Motshekga, who also heads the ANC Women’s League, had neglected to lobby sufficiently for women in ANC leadership positions.

This meant she was out of favour with the league and had “lost her constituency”.

“The textbook saga also didn’t help,” the source said, with reference to the education department’s failure to deliver textbooks in Limpopo.

Zuma had defended her at the time.

The NEC didn’t only make its decisions on the basis of loyalty to a leader, it also “looked at the general performance” of leaders in deciding who would make the NWC.

“It is more complex than just rewarding people for supporting Zuma,” the source said.

Motshekga could not be reached for comment.

Convicted fraudster Tony Yengeni, National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu and former arts minister Pallo Jordan also failed to get re-elected to the NWC, even though they were returned to the party’s national executive committee (NEC) by the ANC conference in Mangaung last month.

Deputy Correctional Services Minister Ngoako Ramathlodi, who was even pushed by a Limpopo lobby to be the treasurer-general on Zuma’s slate, failed to get enough votes to make the list.

A Western Cape source said Yengeni’s fight with SA Communist Party general secretary Blade Nzimande at an NEC meeting last year about the expulsion of ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema has caused Zuma’s lobby to distrust him.

Jordan, who wrote scathingly on the eve of Mangaung that Zuma’s actions had “stripped the office he holds of dignity”, confirmed to City Press he was not nominated.

“I was not nominated. Why are you always looking for funny reasons?” he asked.

The party’s top six officials are automatically members of the NWC, which, according to the ANC constitution, is responsible for executing “decisions and instructions of the NEC” and conducting “the current work of the ANC” while ensuring that party decisions are carried out by its structures.

CityPress

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