Will Mama Action Mokonyane lose Gauteng?

2013-10-27 10:00

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Will Mokonyane vacate premier seat for role in Parliament?

Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane’s ambitions for a second term have been dealt a blow by ANC branches that want her to go to Parliament instead.

The provincial ANC list, which was compiled and approved by the provincial party leadership at its special meeting on Friday, puts Mokonyane in the 21st spot.

Provincial secretary David Makhura tops the list, followed by chairperson Paul Mashatile and provincial ANC Youth League leader Lebogang Maile.

This means President Jacob Zuma may be forced to appoint a premier from the Mashatile camp as he has to choose from three names which the provincial executive committee will submit to the party leadership.

Two provincial ANC sources said the branch nominations were a sign that party members did not want Mokonyane to continue leading the country’s economic powerhouse.

The Gauteng premier, who sits on the ANC’s powerful national executive committee (NEC) and its working committee, has recently suggested to the weekly Mail & Guardian that she wants another term.

“There is still a lot of work to be done in the province and, if the ANC wants to deploy me as Gauteng premier, I will avail myself. I have a responsibility to serve the ANC wherever I am deployed,” Mokonyane said.

The good news for her is that she features highly on the national list, where she was placed in seventh position, ahead of Cabinet ministers Nathi Mthethwa, Jeff Radebe and Derek Hanekom.

Mokonyane occupies the third spot in the province-to-national list. A Gauteng ANC leader sympathetic to Mokonyane said the outcome of the branch nominations was not the end of the road for the Gauteng premier, however.

“The premiership is not about who is number one on the list. If the NEC decides, it can still put you in (the) number one (spot),” he said.

“You can see on that list that there is a strong feeling that she should go national. But remember that (former Gauteng premier) Mbhazima Shilowa was not elected by branches.

“The NEC imposed him, so there is a precedent. The appointment of premiers is the prerogative of the NEC, and the names the province submits can still be rejected.”

Gauteng ANC spokesperson Nkenke Kekana said deployment to positions depended on the ANC.

“To us, the ANC comes first. It’s the ANC that deploys, but individuals must make a choice when they are nominated in different lists,” he said.

Zuma tops the national list, followed by his party deputy Cyril Ramaphosa and Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula.

The ANC will hold its national list conference in December to finalise a consolidated list, according to party spokesperson Khusela Sangoni.

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