Mpumalanga ANC list ‘most factional ever’

2014-02-05 14:13

A tripartite alliance partner of the ANC in Mpumalanga has described the party’s provincial candidate list as being the “most factional ever” after some of its members and ANC veterans were left out.

The province-to-province list excludes some SA Communist Party (SACP), Cosatu and ANC provincial executive committee (PEC) members who had fallen out of favour with Premier David Mabuza’s camp.

This list, if approved by Luthuli House, guarantees the top candidates legislature jobs after the general elections.

City Press has obtained a copy of the list, which puts Mabuza at the top, making his chances of retaining the premiership a reality. His strong allies also appear at the top.

But the list left out ANC veterans such as Fish Mahlalela (legislature member), Candith Mashego-Dlamini (health MEC), Pinky Phosa (economic development MEC), Madala Masuku (finance MEC and SACP central committee member) and Sibongile Manana (arts and culture MEC).

Former provincial cabinet members such as Clifford Mkasi and Meshack Malinga, former ANC deputy chairperson Charles Makola and PEC members in the anti-Mabuza camp – Thomas Bongo and Peter Nyoni – also did not make it on to the list.

Excluded tripartite alliance members include Bonakele Majuba (legislature member and provincial SACP secretary), William Lubisi (legislature speakers and SACP PEC member) and Masuku.

A member of the provincial list committee, speaking on condition of anonymity, said a number of irregularities and procedural complaints were raised about the list process but they were turned down.

“Mabuza chaired the committee while he had interest (to be on the list) and all those experienced enough to stand chance of being premiers were left out.  Other comrades were seen dishing out monies and [a] list of names that delegates had to vote [for] ... branches and regions were given instructions how to vote,” said the committee member.

He said the conference resolved that counting should be done manually. The votes for the national-to-national (National Assembly) and province-to-national (National Council of Provinces) lists, he said, were counted manually but when it came to the province-to-province list, the counting was done electronically.

Provincial ANC chairperson Lucky Ndinisa said there was no guideline that determined a person with an interest in being on the list could not sit on the list committee.

"I want to put it on record that our alliance partners (SACP, Cosatu, Sanco) were part of the list committee and we managed the whole process together. There's nothing that says those with interest to be on the list can't take part. Of course people would have individual preferences but I wouldn't want to enter that space. Whoever is raising issues about irregularities now is naughty … any dispute should have been raised at plenary," Ndinisa said.

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe indicated two weeks ago that the dispute in Mpumalanga was that regional secretaries were included in the list.

He was referring to Ehlanzeni secretary Pat Ngomana and his Gert Sibande counterpart, Muzi Chirwa.

But ANC spokesperson Keith Khoza said the national list committee was dealing with all the disputes.

Majuba said he was not concerned about his exclusion, but condemned the way the list conference was conducted.

“The ANC doesn’t owe us anything and we’re grateful about the opportunity we were given to serve. However, the way the conference was done should raise questions. As SACP, we’ve a problem with the fact that experienced cadres and alliance members were excluded. This is the most factional list of the movement that I’ve ever seen ... it’s against the alliance,” Majuba said.

He said the SACP had lodged a complaint with the provincial ANC, but nothing has come of it.

Cosatu provincial secretary Fidel Mlombo said the outcome of the list conference was “not fair” and he had also written to the ANC to convene a political council meeting between the ANC and alliance partners to discuss the matter.

“Comrades were divided into factions from the beginning. The meeting we’ve been asking for has unfortunately not taken place,” Mlombo added.

A PEC member said the casting out of veterans also happened in Mangaung when the Mabuza camp decided that all Mpumalanga members were unknown and could not have their names forwarded for berths in the national executive committee (NEC). This was confirmed by other sources.

Hence, Mpumalanga ended up with David Mahlobo as the only NEC member.

» This story was updated after first published to add Ndinisa's comment.

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