Ace Magashule unfazed by Senzo Mchunu appointment

Magashule says Mchunu’s role is vital ahead of elections. (Delwyn Verasamy/M&G)

Magashule says Mchunu’s role is vital ahead of elections. (Delwyn Verasamy/M&G)

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule has brushed off claims that the permanent deployment of former KwaZulu-Natal premier Senzo Mchunu to the party’s Luthuli House headquarters is a means to neutralise his power in the party.

The party’s national executive committee (NEC) met on Sunday for a special one-day meeting to finalise the deployment of members to subcommittees and provinces.

Mchunu has been appointed as the chairperson of organising and campaigns ahead of the 2019 national elections. Together with former North West secretary Dakota Legoete, who will serve as his deputy, Mchunu will be working closely with the office of the secretary general.

READ MORE: Mabuza for deputy president?

His deployment has however roused speculation of a plan to ensure that the CR17 camp, to which Mchunu belonged in the lead up to the elective conference, has representation and influence in the office of the secretary general.

Magashule has denied these claims, saying Mchunu’s role is vital ahead of elections.

“The SG’s [secretary general] powers are very clear in terms of the [ANC] constitution. There’s no way comrade Senzo will go there and neutralise the powers of the SG,” Magashule said at a media briefing following the NEC meeting.

“Organising and elections as well as political education are committees which have been identified by the 54th national conference as important committees,” he added.

Magashule and Mchunu were at the centre of a dramatic race for the position of secretary general at the party’s December elective conference, which involved claims of voting irregularities and threats of legal action.

This followed allegations that 68 votes had been omitted from the counting process, which Mchunu’s supporters believed would have seen him defeat Magashule, who secured the position by a narrow 24-vote difference.

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The NEC also announced the permanent deployment of former spokesperson Zizi Kodwa to Luthuli house in the office of the presidency. He is expected to focus on monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the party’s resolutions and the performance of its deployees.

Magashule said there were plans to have more NEC members permanently deployed to Luthuli house within the next five years.

“As we move forward during this term of five years, and resources permitting, we will be increasing the number of NEC members who must come full-time. And we have noted that the people we have made full-time are probably only men so we are going to increase and make sure we add women,” he said.

The NEC also finalised the list of subcommittees and which NEC members who would be chairing them.

Changes include the removal of Science and technology minister Naledi Pandor as chair of the education, health, science and technology subcommittee and her replacement with Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

Parliamentary speaker Baleka Mbete will head the party’s Political Committee in Parliament, which is ordinarily chaired by the deputy president. Magashule said the NEC believed it to be more sensible that the speaker chair the committee as the deputy president was often too busy to fulfil the role.

Below is the full list of sub-committee deployees:f

  • Deployment Committee:  David Mabuza (Chair), Jessie Duarte (Coordinator)
  • Drafting Committee:  Barbara Creecy
  • Constitutional and Legal Affairs: Zweli Mkhize
  • Information & Publicity:  Nkenke Kekana
  • Education, Health, Science & Technology: Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
  • Economic Transformation:  Enoch Godongwana
  • International Relations:  Lindiwe Zulu
  • National Disciplinary Committee: Edna Molewa
  • Organising & Campaigns: Senzo Mchunu (Chair) Dakota Legoete (D. Chair)
  • National Elections Committee: Fikile Mbalula
  • Political Education:  Nathi Mthethwa (Chair) David Masondo (D. Chair)
  • Peace & Stability:  Tony Yengeni
  • Social Transformation:  Lindiwe Sisulu
  • Archives Committee:  Baleka Mbete
  • Policy Monitoring & Evaluation: Jeff Radebe
  • National Disciplinary Committee of Appeal: Nomvula Mokonyane
  • Cultural & Religious Affairs:  Mathole Motshekga
  • Legislature & Governance:  Phumulo Masualle
  • National Dispute Resolution Committee: Jessie Duarte
  • Gender & Equity:  Thandi Modise
  • Political Committee:  Baleka Mbete

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