It’s ANC vs ANC in Limpopo as another region goes to court

2013-11-27 18:01

The Limpopo provincial task team (PTT) has been served with court papers by ANC members from the Mopani region who are challenging the legitimacy of its regional conference after they were disqualified from attending it.

Another matter is still pending in which the ANC was taken to court earlier this month by disgruntled members who had interdicted the Peter Mokaba regional conference, citing flawed processes.

Sources close to the party say delegates from branches in Mopani, which were part of the recent provincial list conference, were “dubiously” excluded from the regional conference and now those members believe the conference and its outcome cannot be legitimate.

“Their argument is that their branch is in good standing and they see a contradiction in that they attended the list conference and were later barred from the regional conference. How did their status change in such a short time between the list and regional conferences?” a source said.

“They feel they were supposed to participate, but were deliberately, and probably with malicious intent, excluded from the conference.”

It is believed ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe was served with court papers on Monday.

The ANC provincial leadership battle is between the incumbent, Premier Stan Mathabatha, and his public works MEC Dickson Masemola.

The latter’s campaign was, however, sinking fast with those linked to Mathabatha having made a clean sweep in three regions.

Masemola was spared the axe when Mathabatha fired MECs upon his appointment, but he was moved from education to public works.

Masemola has failed to woo support in his own region, Sekhukhune, where another Mathabatha man and Cogta MEC Ishmael Kgetjepe was elected the chairperson.

Mathabatha’s victory is also expected to be fortified by Roads and Transport MEC and a former friend of EFF leader Julius Malema, Lehlogonolo Masoga, who was elected regional chairperson in Peter Mokaba.

Mopani elected Economic Development, Environment and Tourism MEC Seaparo Sekoati as the regional chairperson during the past weekend.

Vhembe region, which is led by Tshitereke Matibe, is said to have originally supported Masemola, but then allegedly recently approached Mathabatha and pledged to support him, provided some leaders from the region are also elevated to the provincial structures of government.

The Waterberg region, described as “small and divided”, was yet to have its regional conference, but was not expected to yield a different outcome in terms of leadership.

Meanwhile, the Limpopo ANC PTT said, aside from all the court battles, they were happy with all regions.

“We’ll follow court matters, but we’re happy with the four regional conferences already held and we’re working towards the provincial conference starting December 20. We’re on course and if everything goes according to plan, we’d have delivered (as the PTT) on our mandate within nine months,” said PTT spokesperson Sello Lediga.

He said the remaining region, Waterberg, was expected to hold its regional conference in the first week of December.

Meanwhile, sources within the party said current legal tussles were clear indications that, even if it is held next month, the provincial conference which was expected to deliver Mathabatha as the ANC provincial leader was likely to be marred by similar court battles.

The Mopani matter was expected to be heard on Friday. – Additional reporting by Ngwako Malatji

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