The return of the Alex mafia

2010-05-09 10:32

Supporters of Paul Mashatile, the victorious new ANC Gauteng

chairperson, have vowed to force the province’s premier, Nomvula Mokonyane, to

­reshuffle her ­cabinet.


A Mashatile lobbyist said: “There is going to be a huge change in

the cabinet.”


The lobbyist also said ­Mokonyane should reinstate former Gauteng

agriculture MEC Nomantu ­Nkomo-Ralehoko and reverse the changes she made at

the ­Gauteng Shared Services ­Centre, a cash cow of ­Mashatile’s ­so-called Alex

mafia.


An ANC leader in the province said: “Nomvula has been ­undermining

the leadership of the ANC with the changes she made. We got angry and dealt with

her severely at the ­conference.”


The leader said the premier should also remove local ­government

MEC Kgaugelo ­Lekgoro, safety and security MEC Firoz Cachalia and Nandi

Mayathula-Khoza, the ­agriculture MEC who replaced ­Nkomo-Ralehoko.


Speaking at a media conference in Pretoria yesterday, Mashatile

said it was too early to tell ­whether there would be a ­reshuffle in the

Gauteng ­government.


Mashatile, who is also the ­deputy minister of arts and ­culture,

was elected party leader at this week’s highly contested ­conference with 531

votes to Mokonyane’s 356.


Tension between the two former allies started last year when the

ANC national ­executive committee (NEC) overlooked Mashatile for the powerful

­position of Gauteng premier even though he had ­acted in that position briefly

­following the ­departure of ­Mbhazima Shilowa.


In the run-up to the congress, Mokonyane’s supporters argued that

it was important for her to be chairperson to avoid the creation of what they

termed “two centres of power”.


On Friday some Mashatile supporters questioned whether Mokonyane

would ­consider stepping down as the alleged two centres of power would

continue.


One delegate said: “We wonder if Mokonyane’s ­supporters would take

their ­argument to its logical ­conclusion now that she has lost.”


NEC members including Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula failed to broker a

deal between Mokonyane and Mashatile as the latter turned them down.


A provincial tripartite alliance leader said Mashatile’s victory

was crucial for ANC boss Gwede Mantashe’s survival in 2012 when the next ANC

elective ­conference will take place.


Mokonyane is perceived to be close to Fikile Mbalula, the ­deputy

minister of police, a ­candidate who might challenge Mantashe in 2012.


Mokonyane is now the fourth woman premier who has been made a lame

duck after the ­Eastern Cape’s Noxolo Kieviet, North West’s Maureen Modiselle

and ­Northern Cape’s Hazel Jenkins.


An ANC leader sympathetic to Mashatile said it would be an ­error

for the new leadership to embark on a purge.


The leader said: “Triumphal- ism is a problem. Are we going to say

that we want a ­reshuffle and a recall?”


Mashatile’s line-up took all the top five positions.


Tshwane mayor Gwen ­Ramokgopa was elected as ­Mashatile’s deputy,

while David Makhura was elected secretary, leaving top education official

Panyaza Lesufi humiliated.


Ekurhuleni mayor Ntombi ­Mekgwe beat ANC MP Alina Rantsolase to

become treasurer.

 

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