Eastern Cape premier Phumulo Masualle's fate still up in the air

Phumulo Masualle. (City Press)
Phumulo Masualle. (City Press)

Johannesburg - The ANC in the Eastern Cape is still waiting for the Luthuli House secretariat office to make a decision on the recall of its premier, Phumulo Masualle.

Meetings on the matter, between top Eastern Cape officials and the ANC's top six, including President Cyril Ramaphosa, have proved fruitful.

However, due to the pressing matter of the recall of former president Jacob Zuma - the proposed recall by ANC chairperson Oscar Mabuyane and the provincial leadership was put on hold, one source told News24.

"We expect a decision by the secretary general, Ace Magashule, to be communicated before the month end. The leadership emphasised to the top six the urgency of this matter in order for the province to start to move forward," one PEC member told News24.

Provincial secretary Lulama Ngcukayitobi confirmed to News24 that the province was still waiting for a response from Magashule's office.

"There is no progress on the matter yet. You will have to appreciate that national had a more pressing matter on their hands," he said.

Tensions between Mabuyane and Masualle are at an all-time high, following the result of the PEC elections in October 2016.

News24 understands that Mabuyane and provincial officials met with Magashule at Luthuli House during the national working committee meeting that decided on the Zuma recall.  

The reshuffle will see Masualle and six of his MEC's in the firing line.

These include Thandiswa Marawu, Sakhumzi Somyo, Mlibo Qoboshiyane, Nancy Sihlwayi and Phumeza Dyantyi.

Two more names were added to the list, a source told News24.

The MECs were also part of the group that refused to recognise the PEC's election where Mabuyane was elected party leader at the infamous festival of chairs.

Masualle, along with three mayors – Buffalo City Metro Mayor Xola Pakati, OR Tambo District Municipality Mayor Nomakhosazana Meth and King Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality Mayor Dumani Zozo – were summoned to appear before the provincial executive committee (PEC), City Press reported.

This, after Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane released her report on a scandal involving the abuse of millions meant to be spent on Nelson Mandela's funeral in 2013.

City Press reported that Masualle was the only one who did not show up. "Instead, he sent a last-minute apology, saying he was consulting lawyers on the matter," the report said. 

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