Second term on the cards for Mabuza

2011-10-29 15:26

Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza has consolidated his power and is almost certain of a second term as provincial ANC chairperson.

This after his allies made a clean sweep in strife-torn regional conferences.

The Mabuza camp scored their last win at the Gert Sibande region last weekend when his close ally, Mpumalanga safety and security MEC Vusi Shongwe, retained his seat as chairperson.

Shongwe pipped Kgotso Motloung – the provincial ANC Youth League (ANCYL) chairperson and Gert Sibande district executive mayor. Motloung and ANCYL deputy president Ronald Lamola defied Mabuza and supported Julius Malema’s second-term bid as league president in June.

Mabuza now has three of the four Mpumalanga regions – Gert Sibande, Ehlanzeni and Bohlabela – fully behind him.

The premier’s only challenge is in Nkangala – the stronghold of his ANC deputy, Charles Makola.

Mabuza’s political adviser Tommy Nkoana, however, is Nkangala secretary.

The regional executive committees (REC) have the power to influence who gets nominated to attend and vote at the provincial conference next year when Mabuza tries to secure a second term.

He is likely to face a contest from Makola, health MEC Clifford Mkasi and legislature member Fish Mahlalela.

Mabuza’s rivals had hoped to win the regions and lobby branches to support a new chairperson and, probably, a premier next year.

In the run-up to the elections, disgruntled anti-Mabuza lobbyists highlighted allegations of corruption in the provincial government and the ANC as a reason to call for change.

Conferences at Gert Sibande and Ehlanzeni were marred by complaints of membership fraud which saw ANC members storming the provincial ANC office in Nelspruit.
 
The complainants, in the main, alleged that their branches were replaced with new ones in order to exclude them from crucial branch general meetings that nominated delegates to vote in the conferences.

Anti-Mabuza lobby groups in the two regions this week said their complaints about membership fraud were not attended to.

An Ehlanzeni lobbyist said: “We were surprised to be told that all Ehlanzeni branches nominated Ngrayi Ngwenya (chairperson) and Pat Ngomane (secretary) to stand for the positions, while we know that our branches nominated other comrades.”

A Gert Sibande member said: “They used fraud and money to win. We’re afraid now that they will be reshuffling mayors who didn’t support them, and even trying to fire comrades from government jobs.”
 
Mpumalanga ANC spokesperson Paul Mbenyane said the Dispute Resolution Committee attended to all the complaints.

“It’s wrong for people to complain after the conferences. In fact, all lobby groups should be disbanded. We need to support the new leaders whether we supported them in the past or not,” he said.

Mbenyane said no mayor or civil servants would be removed from their positions.
 
“It’s a big no. However, a mayor who doesn’t perform will be removed.”

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