ANC factional battles alive as structure hosts suspended Ace Magashule in Polokwane
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Polokwane – The raging factional battles in structures of the ANC in the Limpopo province are heating up ahead of the party's January 8 rally on Saturday at the Old Peter Mokaba stadium in Polokwane.
This is as an ANC branch is set to host suspended secretary-general, Ace Magashule, at a time when other leaders are in the province mobilising for support preparing for the big day.
Due to his suspension as part of the step-aside resolution which compels members with criminal charges to stay out of the way, Magashule is not going to take part in the festivities and later the birthday rally of the governing party.
But in an unexpected move, a branch in the Vhembe region is set to host Magashule during a soccer tournament to take place on Friday. At the same time, the party's Top Five will be taking part in a fundraising golf tournament in Polokwane.
According to a poster announcing the soccer tournament, Magashule, who is set to throw his hat into the ring for the ANC's presidency in December, is expected to donate soccer kits and balls to local football clubs in Vhembe’s ward 8.
Fistos Mafela, a known member of RET Forces in the Vhembe region, confirmed that Magashule would grace the event. He also said that it was his branch that was behind it.
He also said Magashule's long-time right-hand man, Carl Niehaus, had confirmed that he would attend the event.
Asked whether staging the event ahead of the ANC rally should not be seen as factional and a distraction to the ANC’s big day, he said no.
"This has nothing to do with factions neither it is a factional event. In fact, this event was planned long ago but we could not host it after failing to secure sponsors for it," Mafela said.
At a press briefing yesterday regarding the state of readiness of the ANC's 110th anniversary, the head of organising and campaigns, Nomvula Mokonyane, denied any knowledge of Magashule's event scheduled to take place in parallel with the party’s activities.
She said: "We have no knowledge of the secretary's event as it's not on our official programme."