Ex-ANC faction leader defects to EFF, vows to 'dethrone' ANC in Mpumalanga

2016-02-11 12:37
David Mabuza (GCIS)

David Mabuza (GCIS)

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Mbombela - The former leader of an ANC faction that sought to unseat Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza has joined the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party, stating that he will ensure that his former party loses power in the capital city and surrounding towns come the local government elections later this year.

Former Ehlanzeni district executive member Sipho Monareng, who led the Save Mpumalanga ANC movement, was welcomed to the EFF on Wednesday afternoon.

"We are not joining the EFF to get positions, but our primary focus is to take over the [Mbombela] municipality and South Africa," said Monareng, to a hero's welcome from the EFF.

Monareng gained prominence when he led the disgruntled ANC faction that sought to highlight irregularities in the governing party's provincial structure last year.

These included allegations of fraudulent membership, vote-rigging during conferences and bogus branch delegates.


The campaign, which was critical of Mabuza's ambitions for a third term as the provincial chairperson of the ANC, culminated into an unprecedented march on the ANC's provincial office at Mbombela in July last year.

Monareng was the public face of the campaign, until his employers at the Department of Public Works, Roads and Transport seized his personal files, which included leave forms and travel claims, to scrutinise for any possible wrongdoing.

His latest move comes amidst rumours that he has privately reconciled with Mabuza and that he was joining the EFF merely to infiltrate it. He has denied this.

"[Mabuza and I] did have a number of meetings known by the members of the ANC with the hope that the issues we have been raising would be sorted out, but unfortunately we could not find joy.

"Those rumours are [from] people that wanted to divide us and I can confirm with absolute certainty that I've never defected to any camp," he said.

Growing the EFF

Alongside Monareng was ANC ward councillor in Hazyview, Cosas Maseko, and an estimated 70 members of the ANC from the Hazyview area, who have all now changed allegiance to the EFF.

Maseko was elected as a councillor in his ward during the 2011 local government elections.

EFF provincial leader Collen Sedibe and other leaders welcomed Monareng and the group irrespective of the rumours that they were moles sent to infiltrate the EFF.

“It is important for any organisation to grow, if (we) are going to do gatekeeping, we might be limiting our chances of growing. We must move from the 83 000 votes that we got in the 2014 elections and either double it or triple it, and we need these people who have the experience to organise in branches,” said Sedibe.

Current leader of the Save the ANC campaign, Peter Nyoni, acknowledged that the ANC was facing major challenges, but said that leaving the organisation was an indication that members have different principles.

“It does not mean that there are no problems in the ANC, and it’s true that we’ve knocked at the doors of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ANC and we never got assistance. So we hope that the NEC realises that the exodus of comrades from the ANC to the EFF is a confirmation that there are challenges within the ANC, but those who leave the ANC do not have the same conviction as those who remain behind. Those who remain have a stronger conviction,” he said.


While ANC provincial spokesperson, Thulare Madileng, said they regretted the departure of Monareng and other ANC members, he accused Monareng of not telling the truth when he claimed that their grievances had not been addressed.

“It’s very unfortunate for any organisation to lose membership. The organisation must grow in terms of membership, but... it is not true. When you’ve got a fixated view, you want your matter to be resolved in a manner that you think is correct, no matter how many people can explain to you and try to intervene as the ANC has done,” said Madileng.

Monareng’s defection follows other recent high profile resignations from the ruling ANC, including those of former Mbombela mayor Isaiah Khoza and former Ehlanzeni district mayor municipality, Khosi Mkhonto.

Read more on:    anc  |  eff  |  david mabuza  |  mbombela  |  local government  |  politics

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