Mxolisi Dukwana is back in the Free State legislature 9 years after Ace Magashule fired him

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Mxolisi Dukwana
Mxolisi Dukwana
PHOTO: Felix Dlangamandla
  • Former Free State MEC Mxolisi Dukwana has been sworn in as a member of the Free State legislature.
  • His swearing-in comes nine years after he was dismissed from then-premier Ace Magashule's cabinet.
  • Sources close to the matter have told News24 that Dukwana is in line for an MEC position.

Nine years after he was unceremoniously dismissed from then-premier Ace Magashule's cabinet, former Free State MEC Mxolisi Dukwana has been elected back into the Free State provincial legislature.

The Free State government's head of communications, Setjhaba Maphalla, confirmed that Dukwana was sworn in as a member of the provincial legislature this week. Maphalla asked that further questions be directed to legislature spokesperson, Life Mokone, who confirmed that Dukwana was sworn in at 17:00 on Tuesday.

Dukwana was not available for comment.

Sources close to the matter told News24 that Dukwana was sworn in on Tuesday at an event at the provincial legislature building in Bloemfontein.

"The event was overseen by speaker of the legislature, Ntombizanele Sifuba, who welcomed Dukwana back into the legislature, saying he had a wealth of knowledge needed to fulfil the provincial government's oversight work."

READ | Residents in Free State town protest over unemployment: 'We are sick and tired of sitting at home'

A former provincial ANC treasurer, Dukwana was part of Magashule's inner circle until their relationship soured and he was fired from Magashule's cabinet in 2012.

During his testimony before the State Capture Inquiry in 2019, Dukwana said Magashule fired him because he turned down attempts by the former premier to "reel him into his dodgy dealings with the Gupta family".

He alleged that Rajesh Gupta offered him R2 million a month to help the Guptas get a multibillion-rand construction tender and claimed that Magashule admitted receiving monthly payments from the Guptas to help further the family's business interests. But Magashule countered that the former MEC was still being bitter about being dismissed.

At the time of his dismissal, it was rumoured that Dukwana would succeed Magashule.

'Political chess game'

Sources who have intimate knowledge about the Free State political landscape told News24 that Dukwana's swearing-in was "the first move in an ongoing political chess game".

One source said:

Free State Premier Sisi Ntombela needs allies in the province, having fallen out with Magashule and [has] now gone on the offensive by doing away with some of the former premier's allies. Dukwana may soon be appointed in an MEC role.

Days ago, Ntombela suspended one of Magashule's allies, Sam Mashinini, as the MEC of Police, Roads and Transport, pending an investigation into the lack of progress on the construction of roads, including roads from Reitz to Tweeling, Cornelia to Villers, and Orangeville to Deneysville.

"The office of the premier has appointed consultants to do an investigation into the issue of lack of progress with the work on five roads. In order to facilitate the progress with and the integrity of this investigation, I deem it appropriate that it should take place in an environment which is devoid of any pressure from any side," Ntombela said in a letter to Mashinini, which News24 has seen.

Dukwana is not unfamiliar to the legislature, having previously served as the speaker and later as the MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs.

Earlier this year, President Cyril Ramaphosa and the ANC's top leadership appointed Dukwana as the Free State's interim provincial convener – just days after Magashule was suspended as ANC secretary-general.

We want to hear your views on the news. Subscribe to News24 to be part of the conversation in the comments section of this article.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
The EFF has voted with the DA to ensure they now govern Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni. Was this:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
A brilliant strategic move by the DA not to make formal coalition agreements
25% - 1517 votes
A brilliant strategic move by the EFF to force the DA to negotiate with them
16% - 1004 votes
A recipe for disaster and five more years of unstable local government
59% - 3655 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
16.27
-1.9%
Rand - Pound
21.71
-0.0%
Rand - Euro
18.42
+0.1%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.59
+0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.14
+0.2%
Gold
1,792.60
0.0%
Silver
23.13
0.0%
Palladium
1,751.49
0.0%
Platinum
955.50
0.0%
Brent Crude
72.72
-11.6%
Top 40
62,411
-2.6%
All Share
68,615
-2.8%
Resource 10
64,074
-2.5%
Industrial 25
92,909
-1.3%
Financial 15
12,995
-6.8%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE