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Eastern Cape ANC chairperson contender Babalo Madikizela claims rivals would try to bribe delegates

Babalo Madikizela is contesting for the position of provincial chairperson in the Eastern Cape. Picture: Babalo Madikizela/Facebook

Babalo Madikizela is contesting for the position of provincial chairperson in the Eastern Cape. Picture: Babalo Madikizela/Facebook

Published May 6, 2022

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Pretoria - Babalo Madikizela, one of the contenders for the Eastern Cape ANC chairperson position, has upped the ante in his bid for the party’s top job in the province, claiming that his rivals would try to bribe delegates to vote for them.

The incumbent provincial treasurer made these damning claims while addressing hundreds of his supporters at the Absa Stadium in East London on Friday ahead of the provincial elective conference due to begin later today until Sunday. Madikizela is challenging provincial chairperson and premier Oscar Mabuyane for the most powerful political position in the Eastern Cape.

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In a veiled attack on Mabuyane, Madikizela told his supporters that they should expect to be given money by those who have been in control of the provincial ANC for over 12-years in exchange for their votes. Mabuyane has been chairperson for the past five years, and was provincial secretary before being promoted.

“We have fokol money. They will give you money, they will give you money. They are part of the establishment. They are the haves. They've been in power in the ANC for 12-years.

“If they bribe you, you must take the money and do the right thing, comrades. Let’s remain focused and disciplined. This is the most important conference in the history of the ANC in the Eastern Cape,” Madikizela said.

In his bid to persuade his supporters to vote for him, Madikizela repeatedly asked them to accept the money but only to use it on Monday after the hotly contested conference. He would have been elected as ANC Eastern Cape boss by then, he added.

“You must keep the money until Monday after the end of the conference on Sunday. On Monday, you must share it with those who have already spent it. Some of them will need petrol money, you must give it to them,” Madikizela claimed.

Mabuyane was not immediately available for comment. Mabuyane, who played a pivotal role in the election of President Cyril Ramaphosa as ANC leader at the Nasrec national conference in 2017, is the president’s main ally in the Eastern Cape. The outcome of the provincial conference is expected to set the tone for the national conference in December, where Ramaphosa is seeking a second term. Ramaphosa is facing a challenge from former Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize and Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, among others.

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Despite contesting Mabuyane for the position Eastern Cape ANC leadership position, and reportedly turning down requests from Ramaphosa’s allies to abandon his ambitions, Madikizela has distanced himself from claims that his slate was supporting Mkhize ahead of the national conference. He made the denials despite the fact that one of his top five candidates, former ANC Youth League and former councillor Andile Lungisa, is a strong member of the radical economic transformation (RET) faction of the ANC, which wants to topple Ramaphosa from power.

Madikizela's claims were made as scores of delegates started arriving at the East London International Convention Centre (ICC) to register for the conference. Organisers were also finalising the registration of delegates, according to ANC sources, amid claims by Madikizela's supporters that Mabuyane's faction planned to postpone the conference in a bid to buy time and regroup.

A total of 1 500 delegates, including 10% of delegates from the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) and the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL), are expected to vote for their preferred top five leaders. The results are expected tomorrow.

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Madikizela, Mabuyane and Eastern Cape’s Legislature’s Deputy Speaker Mlibo Qoboshiyane are in the race for the hot-seat. In March this year, the ANC national executive committee (NEC) disbanded the Eastern Cape provincial executive committee (PEC) after its term of office expired.

The PEC was elected in 2017. However, the NEC kept Mabuyane as convenor (chairperson) and former provincial secretary Lulama Ngcukayitobi as coordinator (secretary), effectively allowing them to be at the helm of organising the conference.

Pretoria News

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