Stan Mathabatha is Limpopo ANC’s uncontested candidate for top job

2014-02-15 16:28

The race for the leadership of the ANC in Limpopo took an abrupt twist as MEC Dickson Masemola dropped out of the contest, handing the position of chairperson to Premier Stan Mathabatha on a silver platter.

It was not immediately clear what led to the sudden change of heart. Masemola and his supporters had earlier joined a large group of delegates outside the conference venue at the University of Limpopo’s Turfloop campus, where regional leaders ordered that Mathabatha take on the position of ANC chairperson uncontested.

Former South African ambassador to Zimbabwe Jerry Ndou would deputise for Mathabatha – and would win the position also without opposition.

Other positions were going to be nominated from the floor.

Masemola was present and delegates were told not to be surprised “because other people you see here among us are now working with us”.

It is understood that Masemola has settled on being an additional member in the new provincial executive committee (PEC), which will be elected today.

What started as a fiercely contested race for the top position could have ended in a compromise following strong indications that the numbers were not favouring Masemola.

However, he seemed to have soldiered on till the eleventh hour, having been seen in caucuses with his supporters since last night. It is understood that both the Mathabatha and Masemola camps had their last meeting earlier today where the latter agreed to drop out of the race.

Mathabatha, South Africa’s former ambassador to the Ukraine, was seen as Luthuli House’s favourite to lead the ANC amid factional battles and divisions in Limpopo.

Meanwhile, delegates were trickling into the conference venue to start nominations and voting processes.

» After 6pm, it was confirmed from inside the venue that Mathabatha was indeed the uncontested candidate for the position of chairperson.

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