Pretoria - The ANC leadership in Mpumalanga has denounced the political gimmicks that have taken centre stage in the province following a fake front-page headline claiming the party’s provincial treasurer had resigned.
According to the story, which has since been dismissed as “fake news”, Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Mandla Msibi had resigned with immediate effect.
The doctored front page was shared within political WhatsApp groups in the province, causing speculation that Msibi was being purged.
Msibi’s name is not new to controversy.
In October 2021, he was fired from his portfolio as MEC for the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Administration by Premier Refilwe Motshweni-Tsipane.
At the time, Mtshweni-Tsipane said she was releasing Msibi in order to allow him to pay attention to the double murder charges he faced in the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court.
The charges, which involved the fatal shooting at the popular Chesa Nyama hangout in Mbombela, were provisionally withdrawn.
The hoax story of his resignation has not been well received at the January “Che” Masilela House in Mbombela, the party’s provincial office building.
The party said that its deputy Chief Whip in the provincial legislature Million Makaringe was the only leader who had resigned.
“The ANC in Mpumalanga province would like to inform the members of the ANC and the community that Cde Mandla Msibi has not resigned as an MEC.
“(We) wish to state that all those individuals who are perpetuating these false stories against our Cde Mandla Msibi to cease from doing so, as this does not only damage our image as the movement but also that of our provincial treasurer,” said provincial secretary Muzi Chirwa.
Chirwa said the provincial executive of the ANC had confidence in Msibi’s work.
“We also urge all those (individuals) that have made such allegations, without having verified such information to issue an apology to Cde Mandla Msibi,” said Chirwa.
Msibi declined to comment on the developments.
Makaringe confirmed his resignation and indicated he planned to pursue greener pastures in the private sector.