David Mabuza ‘worried’ about explaining provincial ANC vote drop to Jacob Zuma

2014-05-18 06:00

Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza is said to be seething with anger and has castigated members of the ANC’s provincial executive committee (PEC) after the party dropped votes during the elections.

The ANC won control of Mpumalanga with 78.2% of the provincial vote compared with 85.6% in 2009.

This means that it lost three more seats in the 30-member provincial legislature to the Democratic Alliance (DA), Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the Bushbuckridge Residents; Association (BRA).

The ANC had 27 legislature members and will now have 24.

Two ANC sources said Mabuza told PEC members he had promised President Jacob Zuma that the ANC would win Mpumalanga with 90% of the vote.

“He was very angry and worried that most of the EFF’s votes came from the Nkangala region and said he would not be able to explain the drop in votes to President Zuma. He also threatened to fire mayors in municipalities where the organisation did not perform well,” a source said.

The EFF got almost half of its votes in Nkangala where just more than 41 000 people voted for it. A total of 83 589 people voted for the party, which gave it 6.3% of the total votes in the province and two seats in the provincial legislature.

Zuma had also told ANC members during a campaign in Kanyamazane township that he would return and slaughter cattle if they gave the ANC 90% of the vote.

The source said that PEC meetings were usually chaired by provincial deputy chairperson David Dube, but on that day, Mabuza handled the meeting.

Another source said: “It looked like a witch-hunting exercise as he accused ANC members of voting [for] the EFF.”

Provincial ANC secretary Lucky Ndinisa confirmed that the meeting had taken place on Monday but that its agenda was the analysis of the results.

Ndinisa said it was routine in the ANC to meet after any event and to analyse it.

“I don’t know why the chairperson [Mabuza] is singled out because all of us were concerned at losing three seats in the legislature and not reaching our target of 90%. I presented the analysis and most members commented and raised a concern about our performance,” Ndinisa said.

“But we didn’t say ANC members could have collaborated with the EFF,” he added.

Ndinisa said the ANC attributed the EFF’s votes in Nkangala – the mining and industrial hub of the province – to the presence of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union.

He said another contributing factor could have been that the party had an interim Nkangala structure after the regional executive committee was dissolved last year.

The DA will have three seats in the provincial legislature after getting 10.4% of the votes – an increase of one seat.

The EFF will have two legislature members while the BRA will have one seat after getting 1.2% of the votes.

The Congress of the People lost its only seat.

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