Fikile Mbalula lashes out at Limpopo ANC incumbent chairperson Stan Mathabatha

Chairperson of the ANC in Limpopo, Stan Mathabatha. Picture: Chester Makana/Supplied

Chairperson of the ANC in Limpopo, Stan Mathabatha. Picture: Chester Makana/Supplied

Published Apr 17, 2023


ANC Secretary-General Fikile Mbalula has lashed out at incumbent provincial chairperson Stan Mathabatha saying that he “misbehaved” at the Nasrec conference in December.

Mathabatha who doubles up as Limpopo premier finds himself against the ropes after some members of the Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) have called for the province to be put under administration.

Mathabatha failed to influence delegates from his own province to make a U-turn and elect Dr Zweli Mkhize instead of president Cyril Ramaphosa who was eventually re-elected.

He also lost his bid to be elected national chairperson contesting against minerals and Energy minister Gwede Mantashe for the position of chairperson.

Ahead of Nasrec the province had taken a position to elect Ramaphosa which Mathabatha defied leaving some members calling for his head.

The party’s National Working Committee (NWC) was visiting the province this weekend where leaders met with regional structures on Saturday while meeting with the PEC yesterday.

Speaking on the sidelines of the meeting in Polokwane yesterday Mbalula was scathing toward Mathabatha but downplayed the calls for the province to be put under administration.

He also stressed that Mathabatha should not be fired only because he had a different political view at the conference.

“We are aware that because of what happened at Nasrec there has been mobilisation against the chairperson and the fact he must go but you don't chuck a person out simply because he had political beliefs called “ MaBhubezi” in Nasrec.

“Mabhubezi” is a chant Mathabatha sang with his slate largely from KwaZulu-Natal on the eve of electing a new president in December.

“A person can remain AmaBhubesi until he dies. It's his belief and that belief was defeated in a conference.

“But you don't say that because Mbalula did not support me in Nasrec therefore he must go,” he said.

He said the removal of Mathabatha only because he went against Ramaphosa would be against the party’s norms because if they would go by that it would mean they would have to change leadership after every conference.

He further added that the only reason that could get Mathabatha out would be because he would be under performing or not available for the job.

“He stood against the position of the province. He misbehaved because the province had a position that Ramaphosa must be president and then he became a “bhubezi” on his way to the conference. So you can't chuck a comrade out of the organisation simply because he had a different view and he misbehaved along the way,” he said.

While it was not clear by the time of going to print if the matter was discussed Mbalula had left the door open for those who wanted Mathabatha out saying they were free to raise it.

“If comrades want to raise the matter, they are free to do so with the leadership. We must be told what it is that the chairperson has done and we evaluate and look at that with the province but if the comrades want to raise that with us they must come with reasons as to why that must happen.

“The NWC is here! We are not going to wait for problems to gather overtime and we only come back at that moment to solve them. Our focus as the leadership is to resolve any problems that may arise,” he said.

Mbalula gave a stern warning against deployees that were not performing to shape up or ship out.

“We are very clear as the national leadership that if you are an MEC you and don't perform, you go. Our we people are not interested in our inward issues about who gets elected and who does not get elected. We must live up to the expectation of our people.

Speaking to Pretoria News in the weekend party provincial spokesperson Jimmy Machaka said the PEC was aware of the calls by some members of the organisation for the province to be dissolved.

“We are aware of some who are hellbent to get the province to be dissolved. And we are saying that the move would be premature,” Machaka said.

The two day visit started on Saturday with Ramaphosa visiting the Vhembe region, Mbalula Capricorn region, Deputy secretary Nomvula Mokonyane went to Sekhukhune, treasurer-general Gwen Ramokgopa addressed Waterberg while Mamoloko Kubayi heard problems coming from Mopani region.

Pretoria News