ANC’s Kabelo Mataboge comes in from the cold

The ANC in North West wants former provincial secretary Kabelo Mataboge to return to the fold after suspending him nearly two years ago.

The party’s provincial spokesperson, Oupa Matla, said Mataboge had already met its leaders and they would now approach the provincial working and executive committees and Luthuli House to discuss Mataboge’s return to political life.

The ANC lost votes in North West in the May elections and, with the Economic Freedom Fighters now its official opposition, the national executive wants a distinct improvement in the party’s showing in the 2016 local government elections.

The ANC in North West was highly factionalised ahead of the party’s Mangaung conference in December 2012. Mataboge led a group who wanted Kgalema Motlanthe to replace Jacob Zuma as ANC president, while provincial chairperson Supra Mahumapelo was at the helm of a powerful counterfaction supporting Zuma’s re-election.

After a bruising battle, Mahumapelo’s faction emerged triumphant and Mataboge was suspended from all party activities for three years.

Mahumapelo is now premier of North West.

Matla said Mataboge had displayed “good conduct” and “remorse” while suspended and, assuming his ban was lifted, would be allowed to participate “at branch level” again.

But a source from the ANC’s Ngaka Modiri Molema region said it was hard to understand “why the party would suddenly want Mataboge back when they had been hellbent on getting rid of him”.

“He is also still close to many others who fell victim to purging because they opposed the current regime,” said the source.

“It will be difficult for Mataboge to return to the provincial leadership and for Mahumapelo and company to let him serve, knowing what a headache he can be.”

Mataboge could not be reached for comment, but a source close to him told City Press: “I can confirm that he is coming back, which is good news. He is happy to be back.”

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