Limpopo ANC deputy chairperson Florence Radzilani, who has been implicated in allegations relating to large-scale looting of VBS Mutual Bank, was the focus of attention when she was sworn in as a member of the provincial legislature (MPL) on Wednesday.
Radzilani and the party's provincial treasurer, Danny Msiza, have been heavily implicated in the allegations. They have both since been instructed by the national executive committee (NEC) to step aside from their positions in the ANC and all party activities until the matter has been resolved.
Radzilani was among the first batch of 10 MPLs to be sworn in and EFF provincial leader Jossey Buthane then loudly remarked, and to much laughter in the legislature and public gallery: "VBS or no VBS."
Stan Mathabatha was re-elected as premier of the province. Former Makhado mayor Mavhungu Lerule-Ramakhanya, who also took over from Radzilani and served as acting mayor of Vhembe District Municipality, was elected speaker of the legislature.
Former Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs MEC Jerry Ndou was elected deputy speaker.
Concerns were earlier raised that Radzilani's swearing-in as an MPL may pave a way for a return to her position in the ANC. This comes as calls for her reinstatement, and that of Msiza, were gaining momentum in the province.
The ANC Veterans' League in the province has expressed unhappiness with "some of the names" of people taking seats in the legislature.
Its spokesperson, Thabiso Mampuru, said: "We know that the new dawn is here, and we are going to fight relentlessly against corruption. We would just appeal to our comrades implicated to step aside because we do not want to be consistently discussing your names."
The SA Communist Party (SACP) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) also expressed dissatisfaction with "certain names".
Commenting on the possible return of Radzilani and Msiza to their positions, ANC provincial secretary Soviet Lekganyane told News24 that the party's NEC had not yet given an instruction in the matter.
"We subscribe to what is called democratic centralism, which means the decisions of higher structures are binding on lower structures.
"It will be reflective of a lack of discipline on my part as the provincial secretary if I associate myself with conduct that undermines the higher structure," Lekganyane said.