Joburg - The resignation of Free State Premier Sisi Ntombela has left the door wide open for Mxolisi Dukwana to take over the province.
This comes after ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula informed provincial secretary Poleliso Motsoeneng that Dukwana would be the next premier in a letter.
On Tuesday, Ntombela, who has been under fire, resigned from her position as premier in the province.
“Please accept this letter as notification that I am resigning from my position as a member of the Free State legislature and premier of the province, effective Friday, February 24, 2023," Ntombela wrote in her letter.
Dukwana was elected chairperson of the province at the recent Free State conference, indicating that he would succeed Ntombela as premier.
Mabalula said the decision to elect Dukwana as premier was in line with the ANC NEC decision.
“In line with the decision of the NEC and in view of the vacancy that will arise from the intended resignation of comrade Sefora Ntombela as premier of Free State, the national officials interviewed the following three comrades to be ANC candidates for the position of premier of Free State: Mxolisi Dukwana, Dibolelo Mahlatsi and Ketso Makume,” Mbalula said.
Mbalula said based on the interviews, the national office of the ANC had chosen to go with Dukwana due to his superior understanding of the issues in the province.
“Based on these interviews, the national officials are of the view that all three candidates are very high calibre and have the potential to play meaningful roles as deployees in a number of spheres of government. In the current conjuncture, given his experience and the challenges faced by the Free State, the national officials are of the view that Mxolisi Dukwana is the preferred ANC candidate for the position of premier of the Free State,” Mbalula added.
At last month’s provincial conference in Bloemfontein, the three candidates were each elected to the higher echelons of power.
At the 9th Free State Conference, Dukwana took the position of provincial chairperson after obtaining 346 votes and defeating incumbent Ntombela, who received 306 votes.
On the other hand, former Sasolburg mayor Ketso Makume walked away as the province’s new deputy chairperson, while Motsoeneng took the provincial secretary position with Dibolelo Mahlatsi elected deputy secretary.