Paul Mashatile hints he’ll go national

2014-01-30 16:27

Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile this afternoon gave his clearest indication yet that he might decline nomination for Gauteng’s premiership.

Mashatile, who is currently the chairperson of the ANC in Gauteng, told City Press that he was most likely to continue his political career at the national level, rather than in provincial politics.

“Remember I have served for a while on a national level as a minister,” he said. “I think that members of the ANC probably want me to stay in national politics.”

He served briefly as premier after the sudden resignation of Mbhazima Shilowa in 2008, but was not retained by the party after the 2009 elections.

City Press revealed on Sunday that Mashatile is placed third on the Gauteng candidate list – after ANC Gauteng secretary David Makhura and MEC for education Barbara Creecy.

The New Age newspaper reported that “Mashatile is on the national list as well – possibly sitting as high as 31”.

Asked how he felt about the story, Mashatile laughed and said: “No, it’s true. I do appear on several lists. Now it’s up to us as leaders to decide where we want to go. But for me it’s not just an individual decision.

“It’s also something that must be consciously discussed with the organisation and the provincial executive committee to see where they think one will be most effective. Then I will go and sign where they think I should be.”

When City Press arrived to interview Mashatile – about his department’s support of the momentous photo exhibition The Rise and Fall of Apartheid – he was being taught to crochet live on ClassicFM.

He was at the upmarket Saxon in Joburg, where the hotel owner’s wife, Carolyn Steyn, the Founder of 67 Blankets for Madiba Day, had asked Mashatile to contribute to her current blanket.

He was in the middle of what will be an exhausting week – starting with the end of the provincial list conference and ahead of the ANC’s provincial national executive committee meeting and lekgotla.

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