Premier's position on the line

North West premier Edna Molewa is set to lose her position as ANC provincial chairperson in what members say is the price for her indecision ahead of the Polokwane presidential vote last year.

Molewa does not feature in the two leadership lists that have been circulated ahead of the party’s provincial conference at Sun City next week.

The two contenders for her job are ANC North West chief whip Nono Maloyi and Bojanala mayor Raymond Motsepe.

Delegates who spoke to the Mail & Guardian blamed Molewa for not providing clear direction in the province on whom to support in the presidential race between President Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma last year.

The majority of North West supported Mbeki. The consequences for backing a losing candidate cost the province dearly, with only two of its candidates—national deputy secretary Thandi Modise and Duma Ndleleni—making it on to the 80-person national executive committee.

The conference is the first in a series of provincial showdowns in the next two months where the Mbeki-Zuma proxy battles will continue to be fought.

The list of Mbeki supporters is led by current provincial secretary Supra Mahumapelo, Nono Maloyi as chairperson, Molefi Sefularo as deputy chairperson, Nikiwe Mangqo as deputy secretary and Rebecca Kasienyane as treasurer.

The Zuma list is led by Matlosane mayor China Dodovu as secretary, Raymond Motsepe as chairperson, Sam Mokaila as deputy chairperson, Jeanette Dibeco and Julius Mongwaketsi as treasurer.

But some branch delegates plan to vote across the lists, saying the North West cannot afford to be divided by national battles any longer.

A former provincial executive member and branch delegate in Mafikeng said their branch would not vote for a “packaged leadership”.

“We don’t want to be forced on to lists.
All these candidates are ANC members,” she said.

An ANC Youth League leader said members do not want Molewa back because her leadership failure ceded control to provincial secretary Supra Mahumapelo.

Youth league support is divided between the two lists, while the provincial Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans’ Association (MKMVA) supports the Zuma list and is particularly keen to prevent the ascension of Mahumapelo.

Recently the ANC national office overturned a decision by Mahumapelo to suspend MKMVA chairperson Alfred Motsi, saying the suspension would create an impression that it was purging him ahead of the conference.

“We are totally against Supra. He is the CEO of business in North West. He runs North West like a bantustan.

Branches are nominating China Dodovu as a secretary just to get rid of Supra,” Motsi said.

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