Step-aside lists set to heighten ANC factional battles in North West
Pretoria - The factional battles within the ANC in the North West province are set to intensify in light of the two step-aside lists compiled by the ANC’s interim provincial committee (IPC) and a group linked to former premier Supra Mahumapelo.
This was the view expressed by political analyst Theo Venter from the University of North West.
He said the lists bore testimony to the existence of the two factions “playing out in the provincial ANC”.
The first list doing the rounds was published by “Supra guys”, he said.
“You will not see Kgotso Khumalo’s name on it and you know there is a court case against him as the mayor of JB Marks Municipality, but he is not even on the list. But on top of the list is Hlomani Chauke. It is actually very laughable about how these factions are fighting,” Venter said.
The factional fights “are now going for broke because they know that the stepping-aside rule is going to neutralise certain groups”, he said.
Drafters of the first list hoped ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule “would have to deal with it”.
“I think the two lists will eventually be managed by the ANC at the national level,” Venter said.
Magashule had given the ANC provincial secretaries a Thursday deadline to comply with a request for submission of names of party officials implicated in corruption or criminally charged.
The call for submission was made on the back of the national executive committee’s resolution at the end of March for those criminally charged to step aside within 30 days. The IPC’s spokesperson, Kenny Morolong, dismissed the first list implicating some committee members into wrongdoing as “fake news”.
Among those implicated in the list are committee co-ordinator Hlomani Chauke and convener Susanna Daantjie.
Insiders said the list was hatched by a faction aligned to Mahumapelo with a view to counter the one put together by the IPC and submitted to Magashule’s office.
The list, seen by the Pretoria News, is topped by Chauke, who is accused of fraud, corruption and maladministration and the irregular awarding of an unspecified tender. The allegations were, however, never substantiated except to mention that a criminal case was opened against the accused. Chauke did not return calls made to him and did not respond to a WhatsApp message sent to him on Friday. However, Morolong described the accusations against Chauke and 14 other people whose names appear on the list as fake news. Morolong’s name also made it to the list with claims that he flouted Covid-19 regulations last year. Morolong said there had been a failed attempt to charge him for the offence in question. He said charges against him were found to be untrue after it was established that he was “at the workplace” at the time of the alleged commission of crime.
“I was not found guilty and I didn’t pay a fine. I am able to cite my case as an example because I didn’t pay fine. It is all fake news,” he said.
He said the list was “an attempt by rogue elements whose intention is to engulf the ANC into a crisis situation”.
The MEC for Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs, Mmoloki Cwaile, was alleged to be one of the list’s drafters.
Insiders said Cwaile, who is perceived to be aligned to Mahumapelo’s faction, wanted to hit back at some IPC members after his name allegedly appeared on its list. Cwaile “explicitly” denied “involvement nor knowledge of the list and can confirm that he does not form part of the IPC and has no authority or whatsoever to compile the list”, according to department spokesperson Charles Matlou.
Mahumapelo didn’t respond to a request for comment on the allegations that he was associated with the list countering the IPC’s one.
Morolong said: “The fact that the drafters of this fake news are unknown to us makes it very difficult to know what their objectives are except to know on the surface that their intention is to engulf the ANC in a crisis situation, otherwise how would they make allegations that are not authentic?”
Former municipal manager of the Madibeng Local Municipality, Phillemon Mapulane, now an MPL, is one of those implicated in wrongdoing by unknown drafters. It was alleged he faced fraud and corruption while the municipal manager and that a forensic investigation was undertaken into the fraudulent appointment of three sub-contractors and amounting to R10 277 308.
Mapulane rejected allegations of fraud and corruption, saying they were “both factually incorrect and misleading”. He believed the list was a desperate attempt “by agents provocateurs inside the ANC” seeking to “malign and smear other comrades with false allegations”. “This they do in order to undermine implementation of the NEC decision on those members who are charged to step aside.”
Regarding the allegations of fraud and corruption, he said: “I got suspended as the municipal manager of Madibeng Local Municipality in 2009 based on concocted allegations following a directive by the former minister of co-operative governance and traditional affairs, the late Sicelo Shiceka, who instructed the premier that I should be suspended.” He said he excused himself from the position and took the matter to the CCMA. He won the case.
He showed the Pretoria News a CCMA verdict, in which he was vindicated and effectively reinstated to his position with “a compensation”of R1 million paid by the municipality