Defiant Northern Cape MEC refuses Parliament deployment

2017-12-05 18:47


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Kimberley - A key Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma strategist, based in the Northern Cape, has refused to accept a deployment to Parliament, leaving his replacement in limbo.

MEC for cooperative governance, human settlements and traditional affairs Alvin Botes is refusing to vacate his post in what has been seen as a standoff between him and the provincial leadership.

His key backers, the ANC youth League and Northern Cape Premier Sylvia Lucas, are aligned to the Dlamini-Zuma group, while the provincial executive committee (PEC) was the first to back Cyril Ramaphosa as the next ANC president.

"Botes is a key [Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma] strategist in the province, so taking him to national [level] seeks to weaken him from his support base," a highly-placed source said.

The party stated that the sacking of Ministers Dipuo Peters and Tina Joemat-Pettersson adversely affected the influence of the Northern Cape in the national government and state-owned enterprises.  

However, the new leadership's rhetoric was dismissed by the Botes faction, which lost the May Colesburg provincial conference.

"[Provincial chairperson] Zamani Saul, who is also deployed to national , is safe as he would rub shoulders with his [Cyril Ramaphosa] group at national level, post the December ANC elective conference," he added    

In a recent letter to Botes, provincial secretary Deshi Ngxanga bemoaned him for defiance, citing financial loss to the party.

"Comrade Patrick Mabilo [his replacement] resigned as member of Parliament, making him unemployed and the ANC had to pay his salary due to your actions."

Swearing in stalled

Mabilo and two others were recalled from Parliament. Mabilo was due to swop with Botes in the provincial legislature.

Botes was expected to send his resignation to Ngxanga, failing which he must present himself to a disciplinary hearing at the ANC provincial office on Tuesday.

The hearing could suspend his party membership. This prompted Botes to state in a radio interview that he was prepared to be redeployed "to strengthen another arm of government".

Both the office of the Premier and the Speaker hasn't received his resignation letter.

Mabilo's swearing in had to be stalled on three occasions because there was no vacant seat in the legislature owing to Botes' defiance, said Epang Matolweni, from the office of the Speaker.

Xhanti Teki, spokesperson for Botes, could only reveal that "consultations between the ANC and his boss were in progress".

'What will make him good for the legislature?'

Coupled with the ongoing court bid to nullify the Colesburg conference, several plans by the ANC to reshuffle the Cabinet "hit a snag" according to Ngxanga.

He was echoed by Saul who revealed several issues, including defiance from Lucas' faction in Cabinet.

Meanwhile, the ANCYL firmly backs Botes.

Neo Maneng said, if Botes was rated the best MEC, "why would they target him leaving behind MECs with dark clouds hanging over their heads, having taken the province 20 steps back.''

"If Mabilo is not good for national Parliament, what will make him good for the legislature?"

This Maneng says will risk the possibility of damaging the credibility and integrity of the ANC in the province if not for factional reasons and serving the interests of a cabal.

ANC spokesperson Naledi Gaosekwe could not say if the disciplinary hearing was in progress as planned.

Read more on:    anc

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