Tshwane ANC split over Mangaung poll

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Mogomotsi Magome

THE ANC in Tshwane is divided over the ruling party’s elective conference in Mangaung in December, with some members claiming the regional leadership is supporting a push for the election of Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe as ANC president.

The rifts in the region are more likely to play themselves out in a looming reshuffle of the mayoral committee. Members of the mayoral committee (MMCs) seen to be in favour of the re-election of President Jacob Zuma in Mangaung may be removed.

The possibility of a mayoral committee reshuffle was mooted as early as March, but it appears it has been delayed by changing dynamics in the region.

The regional leadership has, however, rejected the notion that it is backing Motlanthe and says it cannot single-handedly decide Tshwane’s position in the run-up to Mangaung.

The Pretoria News understands those facing the axe include sports, recreation, arts and culture MMC Faith Kgaditse, social development MMC Sibongile Moselelane, infrastructure MMC Percy Zitha and agriculture MMC Nkele Malepane.

The four are believed to support Zuma’s re-election and are from branches and zones which are seen as Zuma backers. These include Mamelodi, Soshanguve and Atteridgeville.

Moselelane is also the deputy secretary in the region. It is understood, however, that the region’s chairman, deputy chairman, secretary, deputy secretary and treasurer would like Motlanthe to become president.

A regional executive committee member, who asked not to be named, has told the Pretoria News that the regional leadership will use the reshuffle to boost its support for the provincial leadership’s backing for Motlanthe.

“The people who will eventually be delegates at Mangaung will be members who are supporting the position of the regional and provincial leadership,” the member said.

“That is why there is this scramble to influence branches by the regional leadership, which has already chosen to back the position of the province.”

Motlanthe has not declared publicly whether he will challenge Zuma for the leadership of the party in Mangaung, but he is regarded as a favourite to contest the position.

Gauteng ANC chairman Paul Mashatile, according to reports, is heading a campaign for the election of Motlanthe in Mangaung, and regions would rather be on the side of the provincial leadership.

The ANC’s Joburg region, the most powerful region in the province, has rejected the current ANC leadership.

Other regions in the province, including Ekurhuleni, are being lobbied to support the provincial leadership’s stance.

An indication of the Tshwane region’s stance on Mangaung is likely to become evident from where the so-called Zuma backers find themselves after the mayoral committee reshuffle.

Regional secretary Paul Mojapelo said the branches would decide the region’s position on Mangaung. He rejected suggestions that chairman and executive mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa and his leadership were supporting Motlanthe and looking to impose this position on branches.

“Whatever the position of the chairman or the secretary is, it cannot be that of the region as a whole. The branches will eventually make a determination as to what kind of leadership the ANC members want,” Mojapelo said.

“Yes, the members are already talking about Mangaung, but they are debating policy and principle, not individuals. Any talk that the chairman and the secretary are supporting a particular person in Mangaung is baseless.”

Talk of a mayoral committee reshuffle was inevitable as the regional and provincial leadership was assessing its deployees, said Mojapelo.

“This is a comprehensive process where we assess all our deployees. If there are those who have been misplaced, the leadership will make a decision.

“If anybody says these decisions are based on political grounds and not their performance where they have been deployed, we can prove otherwise.”

Another ANC member, who also asked not to be named, said the regional executive committee in Tshwane was non-existent, and decisions were centralised in Mojapelo’s office.

“The office-bearers are running the region, except for Moselelane, who is facing the axe because she is seen as a JZ person. That is why she will definitely be one of the first to go when the reshuffle takes place.”

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