Free State premier to finish term

The African National Congress (ANC) in the Free State on Thursday announced that Premier Beatrice Marshoff will finish her term as premier in six months while the party focuses on unity.

ANC provincial secretary Sibongile Besani said the provincial executive committee (PEC) was of the firm view that the redeployment of Marshoff could not go on in the current political situation.

”Unity is very important,” Besani said in Bloemfontein. ”Given the situation of the party, the decision was taken she must stay.”

Besani said the ”political situation” had changed since an earlier decision was taken to remove Marshoff.

The premier will soon make announcements of her own. ”She will remain loyal to the ANC,” he said.

Besani also focused on unity and urged members to use party structures to address problems, saying all ANC members know that there will always be ”space for engagement” within the movement.

She criticised former ANC chairperson Terror Lekota and other disgruntled party members who found it difficult to accept the democratic outcomes of Polokwane and Parys conferences.

”Their unhappiness is primarily an expression of the personal greed and ambitions.”

Besani said the people will see beyond the ”media-driven fanfare” and expose Lekota as a confused and power-hungry individual.

The ANC also warned ”members in good standing” not to associate themselves with current initiatives such as organising conventions because they will face immediate disciplinary action.

On Wednesday, ANC national executive committee member and former Free State ANC secretary Charlotte Lobe announced that she had resigned from the party.

Lobe also resigned as an ANC member of the Free State legislature. She had stepped down as provincial party secretary in February this year, indicating she could not agree with how the ANC had been handling organisational matters.

Local ANC dissidents have indicated that two conventions will be held in the Free State this weekend to test the idea of a national convention and breakaway party as suggested by Lekota. One is expected to be held in Winburg and the other in Bloemfontein. — Sapa

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