Intervention likely route in Limpopo

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Independent Newspapers

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma and other senior ANC leaders at Luthuli House could take over the Limpopo provincial nomination meeting that will be reconvened after one collapsed at the weekend, ANC sources say.

They said the aborted Limpopo provincial general council (PGC) was a special item on the agenda of the party’s national working committee (NWC) meeting on Monday that would decide whether to grant the anti-Zuma provincial executive committee (PEC) an extension to nominate leaders for Mangaung.

The NWC is the party’s highest operational structure.

The chaotic conference was marred by intimidation, a hostage incident, death threats, and scuffles between Zuma and Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe’s backers over the credentials.

North West will hold another nomination conference in Rustenburg after rival factions held separate ones in Mahikeng and Hartbeespoort Dam, near Brits, at the weekend.

So far, Zuma has been nominated by all ANC provinces except Gauteng and the ANC Youth League.

The Star has been reliably informed that top-brass ANC members ordered Limpopo ANC secretary Soviet Lekganyane not to reconvene the collapsed conference on Sunday, as he had promised to do.

It is understood that Luthuli House was considering appointing a national executive committee task team to run the Limpopo provincial council.

Sources said Luthuli House believed that the Limpopo conference had collapsed because the PEC still took instructions from former ANCYL president Julius Malema.

The conference was aborted after a group of Zuma supporters stormed the Polokwane venue on Friday night and held Malema’s ally, Limpopo ANCYL secretary Jacob Lebogo, hostage, manhandled him and threatened to kill him.

ANC sources said the NWC was likely to extend the mandate of the five-member task team, appointed to tackle nomination disputes in Limpopo, to include the reconvening of the aborted conference.

An ANC source said he expected the working committee to “deal with” the Limpopo PEC, led by Premier Cassel Mathale.

“I heard that the issue of Limpopo is special. You can’t have this kind of violence. The NWC is likely to deal with them tomorrow and allow the deployees to the province to convene the PGC in the next few days and also to approve the credentials.

“The NEC is also likely to disband that PEC after Mangaung,” said the source.

A Zuma supporter said Luthuli House had also stopped Lekganyane from reconvening the conference.

“Soviet wanted to reconvene the PGC today and they told him to stop right there. What they have realised is that these people take instructions from Julius.

“They have learnt that Julius still runs the PEC of Limpopo because the tactics applied at the PGC were similar to those he used at previous youth league conferences. If a branch is not yours, you chop it off,” said the lobbyist.

Malema has repeatedly denied that he had manipulated the Limpopo ANC leadership and the youth league.

He told The Star last week that Zuma’s supporters blamed him for losing political debates because they were “paranoid” and had no support on the ground.

The Star has learnt that some Limpopo ANC leaders had to hide inside the storeroom for hours after pandemonium broke out, forcing ANC security personnel to unleash pepper spray.

Zuma’s backers had accused Lekganyane and Lebogo of tampering with audited membership lists to boost Motlanthe’s chances of dislodging Zuma in Mangaung.

piet.rampedi@inl.co.za

The Star


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