We want one-man show David Mabuza out, say angry ANC members

2014-04-16 13:49

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Disgruntled Mpumalanga ANC members have taken their complaints about Premier David Mabuza’s leadership style to secretary-general Gwede Mantashe.

About 500 members from Nkangala, Ehlanzeni, Gert Sibande and Bohlabelo regions travelled to Luthuli House yesterday where their representatives met Mantashe.

The group does not want Mabuza to return as premier after the May 7 elections.

The members also complained about politicians interfering with employment and the allocation of tenders in municipalities.

“I told them that they’ve come to the ANC headquarters to bring factional issues,” Mantashe said today. “I told them that you comrades are a faction and must go to [provincial secretary Lucky] Ndinisa with your problems.”

Three members who went to Luthuli House anonymously told City Press that they did not want Mabuza to return as premier and suggested to Mantashe that it was time Mpumalanga had its first female premier after the May 7 elections.

“The problem with Mabuza is that he has been appointing people with no credentials to the structures of the organisation and sidelining true veterans. He has been doing this to manipulate them,” said one member.

Another complaint was about the Nkangala regional task team (RTT), led by Mabuza’s ally and human settlements department head Sarel Mtshweni, which is accused of forcing municipalities to employ their allies in key positions.

The RTT, they said, incited the ANC Youth League to march against the Dr JS Moroka municipality in Siyabuswa last Wednesday to force mayor Tiny Mthimunye to stop appointments in the technical department.

“Now the RTT wants the mayor to be fired for standing her ground because the RTT has a list of comrades they want employed there. It was embarrassing to see the ANCYL marching against an ANC municipality and ANC T-shirts being distributed from an ANC truck,” he said.

“We understood the secretary-general’s advice, but we’re unhappy because all these concerns were reported to the provincial secretary [Ndinisa] and nothing happened,” said another member.

National ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said he was not aware of the meeting and would probably know about it after Mantashe had presented the matter before the national working committee.

“[Mantashe] has not related it to me so I can’t comment at this stage,” Mthembu said.

The trip to Luthuli House comes after senior party members circulated a document calling for the dissolution of the provincial executive committee (PEC) and all four regional executive committees (RECs).

The document, which was given to City Press, claims that Mabuza was running a one-man show and anyone who disagreed with him was fired or excluded from organisational work.

“In the PEC, members are threatened with removal if they’re reluctant to support the chairperson [Mabuza]. PEC meetings are turned into a platform for demonstration of support to [Mabuza],” reads the document.

“People occupying undeserved positions at PEC and REC levels owe their occupation of these positions, not to the masses but the chairperson who handpicked them.”

The group said it would assist the ANC to campaign for the elections and that election material was not kept in the provincial office, but at Mabuza’s farm.

“Support should be mobilised from potential sponsors and calls made to the secretary-general to intervene.”

Group members said that after the elections, the PEC, REC and youth league must be disbanded and cases of suspended and fired members be reviewed.

Ndinisa said the document had not been submitted to his office.

“I only heard about it in one PEC meeting where it was raised that there were faceless people complaining about how the ANC was run. I would like to say to them, it’s an opportune time because the term of RECs has lapsed and they can go to branches and raise issues of organisational renewal,” Ndinisa said.

As for the PEC, Ndinisa said it had been discharging its responsibilities without failure.

Three weeks ago, PEC member Peter Nyoni gave a tell-all account before a seven-member committee tasked with investigating service-delivery protests into how PEC and REC members were “handpicked”.

In a two-hour recording leaked to City Press, Nyoni tells the committee that Mabuza’s camp:

» Handpicked comrades and foisted them on branches to be elected for PEC and REC positions.

» Parachuted Mabuza’s allies – NEC member David Mahlobo and Ehlanzeni deputy chairperson Nathaniel Mashile – within months from branches to upper structures at the expense of “experienced” comrades.

» Twisted Mpumalanga human settlements officials to award RDP housing tenders to companies linked to regional secretaries, PEC members and President Jacob Zuma’s cousin, Deebo Mzobe.

“Comrade [Dikeledi Magadzi, the task team convener], I can’t hide this from you. The PEC, which I and these people are part of, was handpicked. We sat with these comrades to decide who comes in and who doesn’t. The RECs were also handpicked,” Nyoni said.

“It’s not the first time there were service-delivery protests in the province, but now that I’ve drastically differed with them, I’m [implicated] in protests. We would meet at night to decide who should be given [municipal] positions. The problem is that we have a weak ANC ... the branches are weak and people deployed in municipalities,” Nyoni added.

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