ANC disbands regional executive in ‘Mabuza purge’

2013-07-31 13:22

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The ANC in Mpumalanga has disbanded one of its regions – a decision, insiders allege, is another purge of those deemed to be a threat to David Mabuza, the provincial chairperson and premier.

The provincial executive committee (PEC) disbanded the Nkangala regional executive committee (REC) during a meeting last weekend.

Nkangala is considered to be the only region where Mabuza has not been able to consolidate support and exert total control – even after his camp orchestrated the removal of his former deputy in the provincial ANC, Charles Makola, from his political seat and his government job as Nkangaladistrict municipal managerlast year.

When the region was due to have its elective conference in April this year, the PEC stopped it to avoid tension before the national general election.

Nkangala REC chairperson and district mayor, Speedy Mashilo, was going to contest the position of regional executive committee chairperson with a Mabuza camp favourite Sarel Mtshweni – the head of the Mpumalanga human settlements department.

The PEC has now, however, decided to disband Nkangala.

Provincial ANC spokesperson Siphosezwe Masango would not discuss the reasons.

“There will be a special regional general council meeting this coming weekend to inform branches about the PEC’s decision. It will be unfair to give reasons to the media before branches are informed,” Masango said.

An REC member who spoke on condition of anonymity said the disbandment aimed to get rid of anti-Mabuza camp members so that they would not be considered or have influence in the upcoming list conferences – which will choose cadres to be deployed in the legislature after the general elections next year.

He said: “These people are positioning themselves. The composition of the regional task team (a temporary structure to replace the REC) will tell us exactly who they want on the list.”

A few months ago, a list of 30 cadres who are earmarked for legislature positions after the elections was leaked to City Press.

Some of the cadres on this list were given MEC positions after Mabuza reshuffled his cabinet. They are Andries Gamede (human settlements), Simon Sikhosana (cooperative governance and traditional affairs) and Violet Siwela (agriculture).

The cabinet reshuffle was followed by the removal of committee chairperson of chairpersons, Fish Mahlalela, and SA Communist Party secretary Bonakele Majuba from the Select Committee on Public Accounts. Both are known to be Mabuza’s political rivals.

ANC provincial secretary Lucky Ndinisa at the time dismissed the list as the work of “daydreamers”.

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