Rebel mayor jumps ship

2014-06-18 12:14

Mpumalanga’s Nkangala district mayor Speedy Mashilo has resigned before he could be pushed out of the job for refusing a deployment to Parliament.

Mashilo jumped ship before the ANC provincial executive committee (PEC) decided his future after he had turned down an offer to become a member of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).

The PEC held a lekgotla over the past weekend in Nelspruit.

Nkangala staff members, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he gave a hearty farewell speech on his last day in office last Tuesday, saying the ANC wanted to redeploy him.

Mashilo confirmed that he had resigned but declined to give further details.

“I’m in the Netherlands now. Can we talk when I come back?” he said.

Provincial ANC secretary Lucky Ndinisa told City Press two weeks ago that the decision to redeploy Mashilo was brought about by the ANC’s poor performance in the Nkangala region during the elections.

Ndinisa said after election results were analysed, it was clear that the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) had a strong showing in Nkangala where it got 41 000 of its 83 589 total votes in the province.

The EFF got 6.26% votes in Mpumalanga.

Ndinisa said former Mbombela mayor Cathy Dlamini had been redeployed to the NCOP for the same reason. In Mbombela, the EFF got 4.75% of the vote.

The ANC lost three seats in the provincial legislature after it garnered 78.2% of the votes in 2014 – a drop from 85.5% in 2009.

The party had aimed to get 90% of the votes but was undercut by the EFF, the Bushbuckridge Residents’ Association (BRA) and the DA, which got an extra legislature seat and now has three representatives.

The EFF and BRA have one seat each.

Ndinisa said the PEC had appointed former Emakhazeni local municipality speaker Thomas Ngwenya as the new Nkangala mayor.

Mashilo, he said, had not been redeployed but rumours are that he might be appointed head of the cooperative governance and traditional affairs department – a position left vacant when David Mahlobo was appointed state security minister.

“The ANC is a caring organisation and it shall deploy and redeploy its cadres,” Ndinisa said.

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