‘I was suspended for not supporting David Mabuza’s third term’

2015-09-30 09:42
Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza.

Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza. (Leon Sadiki)

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The former head of security in Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza’s office, Welcome Nkuna, said he was suspended after his branch resisted in endorsing the premier’s nomination for a third term. 

Nkuna said that he received his letter of precautionary suspension from safety and security head, William Mthombothi, a day after his Ward 3 in Mahushu near Hazyview had refused to propose Mabuza’s name on September 13 to contest the upcoming elective conference due to take place in October. 

Nkuna, a chief director responsible for traffic safety in the department, was eventually suspended for unspecified procurement irregularities on Monday. 

Last year, provincial director-general Dr Nonhlanhla Mkhize removed Nkuna as head of security and protocol in Mabuza’s office and transferred him to safety and security following his political fall-out with the premier. 

Nkuna is a former spy in the state security department. The Mpumalanga government even paid for his three-year training in corporate security in England. 

ANC branches were busy nominating candidates for positions in the provincial executive committee, but as far as Mabuza was concerned, these were just formalities because a provincial general council took a resolution early this year that he would serve a third term as provincial chairperson. 

The tense meeting in Mahushu was attended by Umkhonto we Sizwe veterans and State Security Minister David Mahlobo, who also serves on the ANC’s national working committee. 

The meeting had to be abandoned because those who do not support Mabuza claimed that Ehlanzeni regional executive committee members were unfairly excluding them. 

Sipho Monareng – who was leading members who are disgruntled with Mabuza’s leadership style under the banner of the “Save Mpumalanga ANC” group – was also a member of this branch. 

Since his removal from Mabuza’s office, Nkuna was vocal on social media about the state of the ANC in Mpumalanga and was linked to Save Mpumalanga ANC, a claim he has denied. 

“When I was working in the premier’s office, I wasn’t allowed to talk politics. I started ventilating ANC policy on social media after I was removed from the position and I was not attacking any individual,” Nkuna said. 

“Unfortunately, these policies are not what the ANC in Mpumalanga is practising, just like what happened in my branch,” Nkuna said. 

Though Nkuna denied links with Save Mpumalanga ANC, he rubbished rumours that he would join the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), which welcomed former ANC parliamentarian Tseko Taabe and former Mbombela city mayor, Isaiah Khoza, as its new members two weeks ago. 

“I’ll move with anyone who comes with a progressive idea to correct the ANC, and I don’t believe leaders must stay forever in positions,” he said. 

Mpumalanga safety and security spokesperson Joseph Mabuza denied that politics had anything to do with Nkuna’s suspension. 

Save Mpumalanga ANC wanted Mabuza to step down on allegations that he and his supporters were killing the organisation by purging comrades who did not toe the line. It also wanted the provincial executive committee disbanded. 

The group was due to meet the national working committee this coming Sunday to raise its concerns. It threatened to form its own branches parallel to those of the ANC if Luthuli House did not intervene and heal divisions in Mpumalanga. 

Save Mpumalanga ANC was believed to be considering registering a civic movement called the Mpumalanga Residents Association to contest the 2016 local government elections should the ANC national executive committee fail to resolve the impasse.

Read more on:    anc  |  david mabuza  |  mpumalanga  |  politics

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