File photo: Derek Hanekom. Picture: Etienne Creux

Johannesburg - Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha’s political ally Sabulone Mphofela has been removed as secretary of the ANC’s troubled Peter Mokaba region.

ANC national disciplinary committee chairman Derek Hanekom issued a statement on Sunday instructing Mphofela to vacate his office.

Mphofela has also been ordered to relinquish his position as ANC councillor in the Lepelle-Nkumpi local municipality.

Mphofela was elected secretary of the ANC Peter Mokaba region, the third largest in terms of numbers in the province, amid controversy in a regional conference last month.

His election as secretary and that of his colleague, Lehlogonolo Masoga, as regional chairman has been contested in court by disgruntled ANC members who were unhappy with processes leading to the regional meeting.

The court is expected to rule on the matter on Tuesday..

Hanekom said the national committee upheld Mphofela’s suspension by the regional disciplinary committee.

The regional committee had found Mphofela guilty on two counts of misconduct last year.

One of the guilty verdicts related to the assault of the speaker of the Blouberg local municipality, Maria Thamaga.

Mphofela allegedly assaulted Thamaga, who had been deployed to his local ANC branch in 2012, during a dispute over the nomination process for the ANC’s Mangaung national conference.

At the time Thamaga opened a case of assault, but later dropped it.

However, Hanekom’s committee set aside Mphofela’s guilty verdict for having taken the previous regional leadership to court.

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The Star