Johannesburg - Newly-elected ANC Treasurer-General Paul Mashatile’s election into the party’s Top Six would have seemed unlikely just three years ago when he was first axed from President Jacob Zuma’s cabinet.
Mashatile was born in Pretoria in 1961 and grew up in Alexandra where he student activist, and one of the founders of the Alexander Youth Congress in 1983, and elected as its first chairperson.
He would later be elected onto the structures of the United Democratic Front in the former southern Transvaal, later becoming its general secretary in 1989 until it's unbanning in 1990.
Mashatile had been Minister of Arts and Culture, and ANC Gauteng chairperson when he was unceremoniously dumped by Zuma.
The ANC in Gauteng had been outspoken against the scandals of Zuma, and many saw his axing as punishment with the the party’s poor performance during the 2014 general elections, where its support dropped by 10%, seen as a convenient excuse.
In his new role, Mashatile will be responsible for the ANC’s finances, and raising funds for the party.
Mashatile is currently Human Settlements’ MEC in Gauteng, and has previously been been Premier for eight months between October 2008 and May 2009 when he took up a cabinet position in Zuma’s first administration. Zuma had appointed Nomvula Mokonyane as premier against the wishes of the party’s party’s provincial executive.
Mokonyane became his main rival for the position of ANC provincial chairperson, backed by Zuma. He would defeat her in 2012 ahead of the party’s Mangaung conference.