Agang wracked by rivalries
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Johannesburg - Political infighting and factionalism have rocked AgangSA barely six months after its launch by businesswoman Mamphela Ramphele.
The party’s Gauteng leader, Wickus Kotze, was suspended and one of its Limpopo leaders, Tebogo Mojela, was assaulted, allegedly by a fellow party member at the weekend.
On Saturday, Agang opened a case of burglary and theft against provincial executive members, including Mojela, claiming they had stolen unspecified items from its Limpopo headquarters.
This was after Mojela clashed with a rival faction over who controls the office’s keys.
Kotze was suspended on Thursday after allegedly persistent calls for the party to hold an elective national conference before next year’s elections.
The provincial executive committee (PEC) he led was subsequently disbanded before being reinstated the next day.
Kotze has since claimed that Agang was a turf for political wrangling between elected party officials and those who have been “appointed”.
Two other provincial leaders, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said another cause of tensions within the party was speculation that former Cope leader Mbhazima Shilowa and Cope MP Smuts Ngonyama were earmarked for top positions in the party.
The other name cited was that of the executive director of the UN’s women empowerment unit, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, who is also a former senior Cope leader.
Agang national spokesman Thabo Leshilo confirmed Kotze’s suspension but would not divulge the reasons.
Kotze lashed out at the party’s “founding leadership cabinet,” a group of seven founding senior leaders who include Leshilo, Vanessa Hani and Moeketsi Mosola.
Sources claimed Shilowa, Ngonyama and Mlambo-Ngcuka were waiting in the wings to be part of Agang’s leadership.
Leshilo also denied the three politicians were joining the party.
In Polokwane, Mojela was allegedly manhandled in the presence of Leshilo and another national party leader, Pule Monama.
Leshilo and Monama have denied knowledge of the attack.
Leshilo denounced the Limpopo provincial council as an illegitimate structure.