Mpumalanga premier looks secure

Resisting increasing pressure on him to step down, Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza looks as though he will retain his position as ANC chairperson at the party’s provincial conference next week.

Although Cosatu, the South African Communist Party and the ANC Youth League want Mabuza removed as ANC provincial leader, the Mail & Guardian understands that he enjoys support from almost all ANC regions in Mpumalanga where his close allies are in charge.

Those who want Mabuza removed have repeatedly complained about widespread corruption, deep divisions within the ANC and political infighting.
They have also accused him of failing to deal with the numerous political assassinations in the province.

ANCYL says Mabuza is a ‘purger’
This week, the youth league accused Mabuza of purging his opponents from key government positions ahead of the ANC provincial conference. The league said it would support ANC provincial executive committee member Clifford Mkasi to replace Mabuza as ANC chairperson.

“We are undoubtedly saying cadre Clifford Mkasi must ascend and lead the province unconditionally, because we realised that the ANC is no longer safe in its current leadership,” said acting youth league secretary Clarence Maseko.

“We also want to put it categorically that to support the second term of the chair of the ANC in the province is not a compulsory democratic exercise. Anybody who attempts to propel us otherwise, we will resist fiercely and despise him,” he said.

The anti-Mabuza group has accused the ANC top brass of ignoring several complaints of irregularities relating to nomination processes from ordinary party members. This, they claim, is because Mabuza is regarded as a close ally of President Jacob Zuma and is supporting the campaign to re-elect him as ANC president in Mangaung in December.

Secretary receives complaints from branches
ANC provincial secretary Lucky Ndinisa told the M&G this week that his office had received a number of complaints from ANC branches. He said the party had established a dispute-resolution committee comprising ANC provincial officials and national executive committee deployees to deal with the complaints.

Ndinisa said complaints from ordinary members ranged from branch general meetings not reaching a quorum, the removal of comrades from attendance registers and comrades being suppressed by others on leadership issues. He said the dispute committee would try to deal with all complaints by Sunday, because they had a bearing on next week’s provincial conference.

Ndinisa said the ANC was working hard to end the increasing trend of factionalism and slate processes in the party. “We want a situation where members can identify capable leaders on the basis of their performance.”

He could not rule out the possibility of postponing the provincial ANC conference if 70% of the branches were not in good standing, as required by the ANC constitution.

Charles Molele

Charles Molele

Charles Molele is a senior politics reporter at the Mail & Guardian. Charles joined the paper in 2011. He has covered general news, court and politics for the past 19 years, and also worked as a senior reporter for the Saturday Star, Sunday World, ThisDay, Sunday Times and is former politics editor of the New Age. Charles's other career highlights include covering Kenya's violent general elections (2007/08), Zimbabwe’s sham general elections (2008), Mozambique's food riots (2010) and the historic re-election of US President Barack Obama (2012).
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    Matuma Letsoalo is a senior politics reporter at the Mail & Guardian. He joined the newspaper in 2003, focussing on politics and labour, and collaborated with the M&G's centre for investigations, amaBhungane, from time to time.In 2011, Matuma won the South African Journalist of the Year Award and was also the winner in the investigative journalism category in the same year.In 2004, he won the CNN African Journalist of the Year prize – the MKO Abiola Print Journalism Award. Matuma was also a joint category winner of the Mondi Shanduka SA Story of the year Award in 2008. In 2013, he was a finalist for Wits University's Taco Kuiper Award.
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