'The house is on fire:' - Ramaphosa warns party over conference decisions, divisions

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President Cyril Ramaphosa.
President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Simphiwe Nkwali, Gallo Images
  • ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa gave the closing address at the ANC Mpumalanga provincial conference. 
  • He warned ANC delegates to mull over their decision to elect murder accused Mandla Msibi. 
  • Ramaphosa also warned of deep divisions that plagued the province ahead of its conference, describing it as a "house on fire". 

Mpumalanga members will have to "reflect" on their election of murder accused Mandla Msibi, while the ANC NEC is expected to mull over the matter.  

ANC leader Cyril Ramaphosa told delegates at the province's conference that they would have to dwell on the decision to elect a murder accused.  

Msibi faces murder and attempted murder charges related to a shooting incident in Mbombela last year. 

He isn't allowed to attend ANC gatherings or perform official duties while his matter is before the court.  

These facts didn't prevent his election as provincial treasurer.  

The provincial leadership of the province would have to do without his role.  

Ramaphosa said ANC members would have to reflect on their decisions, but they would need take into consideration the party's step-aside guidelines. 

"On the issue of stepping aside, we must demonstrate that we are truly serious as the ANC. During the course of your election, you took the step of endorsing and electing a comrade facing charges. 

Ramaphosa said:

This matter needs your attention; your reflection, but be based on the decisions taken by our national conference. Your reflection must also be based on the NEC decision. I call on you to reflect on this matter. You are not the only province facing this issue. The issue of renewal is a process.

ANC coordinator in the office of the secretary-general, Gwen Ramokgopa, described Msibi's election as disappointing and unfortunate. 

She said Msibi might be asked to remove himself from the position.  

In response to the debacle, the ANC said it would draw up guidelines for provinces and regions on the step-aside issue and its implications for officials seeking election, but have criminal matters on the cards, Ramokgopa told News24.  

READ | Murder accused elected as ANC Mpumalanga treasurer raises questions over party's step-aside rule

Ramaphosa warns of a 'house on fire'.  

Ramaphosa used his address at the gathering to warn about the divisions plaguing the party.  

There were reports of violence at branch gatherings, and the provincial office was also set alight recently.  

Mandla Ndlovu, seen widely as a Ramaphosa backer, won the chairperson race over Lucky Ndinisa, a close ally of Deputy President David Mabuza. 

The two had different factions supporting their campaigns.

However, with the end of campaigning, more questions were raised over the defeat of a close Mabuza ally and his grip over the province.

Ramaphosa described the fight for power and resources in the party as "the house is on fire, and we are the ones who must put this fire out. You must put out the fire of corruption and division".    

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