Shelembe eyeing top post in ANC

2011-11-09 00:00

FORMER Msunduzi Municipality deputy mayor Alpha Shelembe, who earlier this week had charge of arson against him withdrawn, has ambitions to occupy the top ANC post in the region.

Shelembe was accused of masterminding the torching of the ANC offices in Jabu Ndlovu Street while it was occupied by protesters.

The charge was withdrawn on Monday.

This devlopment comes after, Themba Mbona, a driver who is serving a jail sentence for setting fire to the offices on June 12, retracted his allegation that Shelembe had masterminded the arson.

Shelembe faces charges of money laundering, fraud and corruption relating to the sale of a building for the uMgungundlovu District Municipality at an inflated price in 2003.

Sources who spoke to The Witness on condition of anonymity said that Shelembe has been tipped for the position of chairperson in the ANC’s executive committee (REC) in the Moses Mabhida region.

The sources say most of the region’s 84 branches have indicated they will nominate him for the chair.

Shelembe, who stepped down as deputy mayor and from his treasury position in the REC in June when he was charged with arson, has reportedly been soliciting votes from the branches.

The elections for the REC are expected to take place before February next year.

Shelembe told The Witness he has consulted the provincial leadership of the ANC about his political future following the withdrawal of the charge.

He said he is waiting to be summoned to a meeting.

He said he does not want to discuss ANC matters in the media.

Shelembe said the arson charge was a smear campaign by some leaders of the ANC and of the tripartite alliance in the city who were using state resources.

ANC provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala said the meeting with Shelembe would not be about him seeking to be redeployed, but to fill the leadership in on the latest developments.

He said Shelembe resigned because he does not want the party’s name tainted.

He added that the ANC does not discuss its internal matters in the media.

Nhlanhla Mtaka, director of Ingabadi, a political consultancy, said the ball is now in the ANC’s court to deploy Shelembe if it believes that his name has been cleared.

But this would not address the ongoing internal struggles, Mtaka said, and it would not halt conspiracy theories within the party in the region.

“The poison was there before Shelembe [was implicated],” said Mtaka and it was there during and after the court case.

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