ANC in Mpumalanga in a tight corner over party heavyweight Mandla Msibi

Mpumalanga MEC Mandla Msibi is accused of being involved in a shooting in which two people died. Picture: Mpumalanga Provincial Government

Mpumalanga MEC Mandla Msibi is accused of being involved in a shooting in which two people died. Picture: Mpumalanga Provincial Government

Published Mar 28, 2024


The ANC in Mpumalanga is in a tight corner and under pressure to make a decision on whether to expel suspended provincial treasurer Mandla Msibi ahead of the May 29 elections.

Msibi, a party heavyweight and the MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs in the province, was suspended after the party’s 2024 January 8 celebrations held in the Mbombela Stadium.

The party has accused Msibi of attempting to sabotage the 112th birthday celebrations by lobbying his supporters to boycott the event.

He was hauled before a disciplinary hearing headed by the governing party’s provincial disciplinary committee, whose outcome, according to party leaders, is expected to be announced today.

However, his supporters, mostly from a branch in Zone B in the Ehlanzeni region, Mbombela, have threatened to join the breakaway uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party if he is expelled.

Msibi’s spokesperson, Uhuru Mofokeng, told The Star yesterday that he would only comment on the matter after the announcement on Msibi’s future, which is meant to take place today.

He said Msibi was waiting on the announcement that was expected to be announced by the provincial disciplinary committee chairperson, Mike Soko, today.

He said the committee was expected to meet and deliberate on the matter today.

“The people to talk to are the disciplinary committee because I can only comment after the outcome of the disciplinary hearing.

“So let’s talk around 2pm today on the way forward and what action we would be taking afterwards,” Mofokeng said.

However, the ANC spokesperson in the province, Sasekani Manzini, said the committee was yet to confirm a date on which the outcome of the hearing would be announced.

Speaking to The Star yesterday, she said: “When we are ready, we will formally communicate the outcome.”

Charges that Msibi faces include engaging in disruptive behaviour that has contravened the governing party’s constitution. They include alleged attempts to block supporters from attending the event, which was held on Saturday, January 13.

Msibi has since gone to court to overturn his suspension.

Chief among protests, prior to the January 8 celebrations, were that he had made several demands on the organisation and President Cyril Ramaphosa to call an urgent Cabinet meeting to resolve the matter pertaining to the multibillion-rand Nkosi Smart City project.

The Star previously reported that disgruntled ANC members, who are Msibi’s supporters, are accusing party officials of ignoring the Smart City project that has been in limbo for years.

A member of the party speaking to The Star on condition of anonymity said that if Msibi were to be expelled they would “engage” and see if they can motivate to join the MKP.

“We would have nothing to lose. Our own leaders don’t hear us. All we wanted was the Smart City to break ground so that it would create jobs for our people,” he said.

In an affidavit, seen by The Star and signed on March 6, 2024, provincial secretary Muzi Chirwa accuses Msibi of phoning him to inform him that a march, organised by Msibi’s faction, had been called off, but had resolved not to attend the celebrations.

Msibi was elected provincial treasurer in absentia in 2022 following a controversial murder charge that forced him to step aside from ANC duties.

However, he was later reinstated and appointed MEC after the National Prosecuting Authority withdrew the charges.

Before the 2022 provincial elective conference held in Witbank, Msibi was removed from the provincial government following his arrest on two charges of murder and one of attempted murder.

The charges involved a shooting at Mbombela’s Chesa Nyama hangout spot, where two ANC members, Dingaan Ngwenya and Sindela Lubisi, were gunned down on August 22, 2021.