Mathabatha ANC’s frontrunner in Limpopo, Masemola supporters cry foul

2013-11-08 06:00

Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha is likely to pip his archrival Dickson Masemola in the party’s provincial conference next month if the outcome of the list conference, which was held this weekend, is anything to go by.

The conference was held to elect members to the provincial legislature and Parliament if the party wins the general election next year.

According to two senior party officials, Mathabatha topped the list with 343 votes to Masemola’s 263 on the legislature list.

Mathabatha topped the provincial list ahead of Masemola, who was at number nine.

Masemola is said to also be lagging behind Mathabatha’s newly appointed MECs, including Ishmael Kgetjepe, Seaparo Sekwati and Julius Malema’s former friend-turned-foe Lehlogonolo Masoga.

But the officials contend that the outcome could have been different if the Waterberg region, which is Masemola’s stronghold, was allowed to participate in the conference and if pro-Masemola delegates were not disqualified from the conference.

The Waterberg region, which is the smallest in the province, was to have sent at least 48 delegates.

“Apart from the fact that Waterberg did not participate, many branches from Mopani, which supported Masemola, were disqualified,” said the official who did not want to be named because he is not allowed to speak to the media.

The official said that the Lebaka, Rapho, Sydney Mahlo, Braamfischer and Marvin Mkhari branches, which were collectively supposed to have sent a total of 13 delegates, were disqualified by conference auditors.

“This despite that the NEC [national executive committee] gave them the go-ahead to participate in the conferences of the party,” said the official.

City Press has seen a letter of complaint written to Luthuli House by the aggrieved branches.

Another official said Mathabatha’s chances were boosted by the controversial participation of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) provincial task team (PTT) members who sent 30 delegates to the conference.

“Look, the women’s league sent 30 delegates and 27 voted for Masemola and only three voted for Mathabatha. We did not have a problem with that because they are a democratically elected organ of the party. But the problem is the PTT of the league.

“They are not a democratically elected structure of the ANC, so they were not supposed to vote but they did. We were ignored when we questioned that.

“We hope that the NEC intervenes and reruns these processes because these guys are violating the constitution of the organisation for selfish reasons,” said another official.

The official said that they would follow the internal processes of the party to challenge the outcome of the list conference and would accept defeat if the NEC ruled against Masemola, whom they want to lead the organisation and replace Mathabatha as head of government.

PTT secretary Joy Matshoge confirmed that Waterberg did not participate in the list conference because of “unresolved hiccups”.

“We couldn’t disadvantaged other regions because of one region. So those problems which had been plaguing the region would hopefully be resolved before the provincial conference in December,” she said.

Matshoge refused to comment on the results of the conference and said the ANC’s secretary-general, Gwede Mantashe, should endorse them before they could be made public.

She also refused to comment on the complaints that 30 ANCYL PTT members were allowed to vote in the list conference.

“I have not received any complaints in so far as that is concerned. We are a transparent organisation and will attend to those complaints once they are reported to us,” she said.

A source close to the ANC in the province suggested that Masemola should pull out of the race if he wanted a government job.

Meanwhile, four regional conferences were still outstanding in Limpopo amid disputes.

The Spokesperson for the ANC in Limpopo, Sello Lediga, said disputes had been resolved for three regions, expect for Waterberg.

Lediga said three regions were ready to sit for conferences but said that could not happen this week as it was voter registration weekend. “We’ll have regional conferences sitting from next week during the week and at the weekend,” he said.

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