Mbalula not off the mark about Magashule - Free State ANC deputy chair

Magashule is the ANCYL's chosen candidate to replace current SG Gwede Mantashe. (Oupa Nkosi, M&G)

Magashule is the ANCYL's chosen candidate to replace current SG Gwede Mantashe. (Oupa Nkosi, M&G)

Ace Magashule’s deputy in the ANC in the Free State, Thabo Manyoni, says concerns raised by Police Minister Fikile Mbalula about the provincial chair’s ability to lead the party at national level are valid.

He made the remarks to the media after he attended a memorial lecture in honour of former National Union of Mineworkers leader Elijah Barayi on Sunday.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered a keynote address at the event, where he called on workers to take a stand against those using public funds to enrich themselves.

Ramaphosa also raised concern over allegations that money from a Free State dairy farm was used to fund a lavish wedding for a member of the Gupta family.

“Given that this happens during Magashule’s time, I think one way or another Mbalula might not be off the track,” said Manyoni.

Mbalula sent out a series of explosive tweets after he was announced as a candidate for 2nd deputy secretary general on an ANC Youth League slate. Magashule was the young lions’ chosen candidate to replace current SG Gwede Mantashe.

“Ace Magashule a definite no no no. The man will finish what is remaining of our movement, he will kill it in fact #Thinkingaloudbeyond” Mbalula tweeted in June.

“Well, when it comes to perceptions you know much better about the Guptas and what’s happening in the Free State,” Manyoni said to journalists when initially asked for his thoughts on Mbalula’s comments.

“You heard the deputy president talking about the farm and you’ve heard about the weddings, money that was supposed to go for our kids’ bursaries and so on, going for weddings, I can’t say much in that regard,” added Manyoni.

ANC comes first
The current Free State deputy, who recently resigned as a member of Parliament, has now set his sights on taking over from Magashule. He said he was available to contest for provincial chairperson as long as branches wanted him to.

“Many of our comrades were saying it’s time that Ace [Magashule] occupied a higher position in terms of the ANC hierarchy, and therefore in the province I should consider standing and availing myself when the branches are asking for that, it was then where I said if that be the case, then fine, I’m available,” explained Manyoni, who had previously said he would not contest Magashule, who’s also known as lifetime chair for the top post.

Manyoni also reflected on what he called a “quagmire” facing ANC MPs, and said his former colleagues needed to sit down and convince each other of the best way forward when it comes to a motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma.

Opposition parties are hoping the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, will grant their request for a secret ballot, when Zuma’s fate comes up once more in the house.

“I resigned but I am still a member of the ANC. The ANC comes first,” said Manyoni.

The Free State ANC deputy chairperson said although it was important to rally and unite the ANC, it did not mean the party should embrace corruption. – News24

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