Future of Free State premier under spotlight

Beatrice Marshoff remains Free State premier for now, but has been advised that she must leave her post, provincial party officials said on Wednesday.

Provincial African National Congress (ANC) secretary Sbongile Besani said provincial officials and the premier had met to discuss an ANC resolution that she must be redeployed.

”The meeting was a frank and open discussion, whereby the resolution of the Parys provincial conference was reiterated,” Besani said.

Provincial ANC officials have had several discussions with ANC national working committee members regarding the premier’s redeployment, the latest of which was on Tuesday at ANC headquarters Luthuli House in Johannesburg.

Besani said local ANC leaders had, in line with Polokwane resolutions on the deployment and redeployment of premiers, immediately started discussions with national working committee (NWC) of the ANC to brief them on the Parys conference decision.

He said Marshoff would get back to the ANC on the ”advice” they gave her on Tuesday, but no time limit had been decided on.

Besani said Marshoff had appreciated the discussions.

”Her reaction was, of course this thing had been in the media and she appreciated that the ANC had been able to discuss these matters with her.”

Besani said the provincial executive committee’s communication with the premier was not to force her to resign, but to tell her what the provincial conference had decided.

He confirmed that the ANC’s national executive committee would have to make the final decision on the matter.

”It is a competency of the NEC to deal with this matter, we must say that loud and clear. That is why we are consulting with the national working committee.”

Marshoff, in a statement, acknowledged that recent media reports regarding her ”recall or retention” as premier had created great discussion. She could not ”deny or confirm this move” at present.

She added that a decision of this nature did not signal a crisis in government since the policies and programmes of government would continue uninterrupted.

Marshoff said she remains a ”disciplined member” of the ANC and a ”loyal servant” of the people of the Free State. — Sapa

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