Soviet Lekganyane could make a comeback in Limpopo

2013-10-23 17:31

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Former Limpopo provincial secretary Molapi Soviet Lekganyane is tipped to return to this position if Dickson Masemola wins the organisation’s provincial elective conference, billed for December this year.

City Press can reveal that branches supporting Masemola for the position of provincial chairperson want Lekganyane to be elected to this powerful position.

Lekganyane, who was the provincial secretary of the provincial executive committee (PEC) led by then premier Cassel Mathale, lost his job when the national executive committee (NEC) disbanded it last year.

This after the organisation’s decision-making body accused them of factionalism and sowing division.

Ironically, Lekganyane – who supported Kgalema Motlanthe to topple President Jacob Zuma – was instrumental in preventing Masemola from going to the Mangaung conference in December last year.

Masemola broke ranks with the PEC and supported Zuma’s re-election.

“We have agreed that all our forces support (Masemola) provided he carries our secretary Soviet, no compromise,” said a senior ANC official in the province who did not want to be named because he is not authorised to speak to the media.

Another senior ANC official confirmed that Lekganyane is on Masemola’s slate as the secretary.

“He is an asset, an astute politician with strong political acumen and he is a disciplined cadre who, in tandem with Masemola, can unite and heal the province of its divisions,” said another senior ANC official who also did not want to be named.

Lekganyane said: “It is not up to an individual to decide, but is in the discretion of the branches of the movement. The branches must decide for themselves.”

Lekganyane will be a delegate of the Peter Mokaba regional conference and the provincial conference.

This after the NEC took a decision that his branch, which was disqualified by the provincial task team (PTT), should be allowed to participate.

Meanwhile, Premier Stan Mathabatha’s campaign to become the ANC provincial chairperson suffered two recent blows.

Mathabatha’s camp was defeated by Masemola’s at the Vhembe regional conference last weekend.

This week, the NEC members, who visited the province on Sunday, resolved all the disputes lodged by various branches in the province.

As a result, the branches that had been disqualified will now participate in the regional conferences and the provincial conference.

About 26 branches in the Mopani region, at least 22 in Ga-Sekhukhune and about 50 in Capricorn were disqualified from regional conferences by the regional task team and provincial task team, respectively.

It is alleged that all the branches that were initially disqualified from these conferences were those that would support Masemola’s camp at the regional conferences, which are likely to be held this coming weekend.

In Mopani, MEC for Economic Development Charlie Sekwati, who is leading Mathabatha’s campaign in the province’s biggest region, has been pitted against Masemola’s lieutenant, David Maake, for the position of chairperson.

In Ga-Sekhukhune, Masemola’s man, Ali Matlala, who is leading Masemola’s campaign in the province’s second-biggest region, will contest against Mathabatha’s ally Ishmael Kgejepe, who is human settlements MEC.

In the Capricorn region, Masemola’s man, Serite Sekgoloane, will go head-to-head with Mathabatha supporter Lehlogonolo Masoga, who is MEC for roads and transport.

Mathabatha’s campaign is likely to be affected, as many of the disqualified branches have more than three delegates to the conferences.

“They wanted to steal the conference. The branches that were disqualified were not going to participate in the provincial conference and that means Stan would win. We want Masemola, he is the only comrade who can unite us. Mathabatha is vindictive because he got rid of all the people who worked with the previous regime. He is a divider, not a uniter,” said a senior ANC member.

But another ANC member said Mathabatha would win with an overwhelming majority as he has more supporters.

“It’s all about the numbers. We are optimistic that we will win,” he said.

Earlier, two sources close to the PTT told City Press reporter Poloko Tau they “wouldn’t be surprised” if Masemola quit the race for the party’s provincial chairmanship, in order to save face.

But an ANC member who has been aligned to Masemola’s slate laughed it off.

PTT spokesperson Sello Ledigafailed to respond to questions.

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