Pretoria - Another ANC leader in Limpopo has switched political allegiance to the EFF, alleging that his former party is “ill-disciplined”, especially its provincial chairperson and Premier Stan Mathabatha.
Lawrence Mapoulo, who had close ties with former premier Cassel Mathale and EFF commander-in-chief Julius Malema, who was ANC Youth League president until 2011, also said the governing party was dead.
He was mayor of Polokwane and ultimately of Capricorn District Municipality in Limpopo.
Mapoulo announced his decision to join the red berets, the main opposition to the ANC in the province, at a press briefing yesterday. This was after Malema tweeted that Mapoulo had joined his party. He was seen on social media clad in EFF regalia and the distinctive red beret.
His decision comes after former Limpopo ANCYL secretary Jacob Lebogo joined the EFF in 2019.
Malema said in the tweet: “Welcome home Cde Mapoulo; what a beautiful Easter weekend.”
Despite claims within ANC circles that Mapoulo was bitter because he had lost the leadership battle of the Cuito Cuanavale branch in Flora Park, where he was previously chairperson, he denied the assertions, saying he only left the party because of ill-discipline among its members.
He said: “I’m now a proud member of the EFF not because I was persuaded by the commander-in-chief (Malema), but because I saw that the ANC is dead. If you see that something is dead, you see it through discipline. After 40 years of being in the ANC I realised that what I’m currently riding is dead. There is no discipline within the ANC. The ANC is no longer alive. Real people who hold aspirations of the ANC are also on the verge of leaving.
“I saw in the ANC that the car that we are driving in… the driver is drunk. You won’t reach anywhere with that kind of person. There is no discipline in the ANC. Those who are in leadership are not real leaders,” Mapoulo said in an interview with the Pretoria News.
“I’m not a coward at Cuito Cuanavale. I was the only one who won that ward three times as leader of the branch… and told them that we are going to win the ward then I’d decide. I’m no coward. I’ve completed my work. I don’t entertain questions of positions. I’ve had many positions. All that has to happen now is to carry the mandate of the EFF and get 1 million members. There is discipline here and I’m here to make sure that it should not be forgotten.”
Asked about the difference between the current ANC under Mathabatha and the previous one under Mathale, which he was part of, Mapoulo said if the politics were bad during the premiership of Mathale, he would have left.
“But after the new leadership, it's like a pastor telling us about the Bible but the Bible is upset… this is the current leadership. He has no discipline.”
ANC provincial spokesperson Donald Selamolela said the party had noted Mapoulo’s departure. However, he said it was unfortunate for Mapoulo to take the route of insulting the party. “It’s unfortunate that he wants to insult the ANC when he was on the verge of being labelled a veteran of it.”