The ANC in Mpumalanga has suffered a blow with the announcement by the newly registered Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) party that one of the ruling party’s former heavyweights in the province, Andries Gamede, would be one of its provincial co-ordinators.
Gamede has held a string of senior positions in the ANC in the province and in government.
He was a former mayor of both Mkhondo and the Gert Sibande District Municipality.
Gamede holds great power and influence in Mpumalanga, with his base situated mostly in Gert Sibande, the biggest region in the province.
He was instrumental in the unseating of the ANC in the Piet Retief Local Municipality when the party lost its powerful seats in the mayorship, speaker and chief whip for the first time since the dawn of democracy.
Gamede had formed the Independent Community Movement Association, a civic organisation that fielded independent candidates in the last local elections.
MK party spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndlela confirmed that Gamede was a member in good standing, adding that his wealth of political experience would help the organisation to secure the two-thirds majority they were aiming for in the upcoming general elections.
“Yes, Gamede has indeed joined the MK, and he was deployed by the national leadership structures,” Ndlela said.
He said the seasoned politician’s knowledge and wealth of experience would go a long way in securing the province as a whole.
Ndlela said there was no reason for his party not to win the elections as the majority of people were now aware that what they had been promised was just a pipe dream, adding that the MK party was the only solution for South Africans.
When The Star contacted Gamede, he neither confirmed nor denied that he had officially joined forces with former president Jacob Zuma.
“The reason I don’t want to say anything to you is that I don’t want to waste your time. But what I can tell you is that we are going to have a press conference this week.
“You will hear everything that you need to know at the conference,” said Gamede.
Gamede’s news comes after the announcement by Black First Land First (BLF) leader Andile Mngxitama that he and members of his organisation would be voting for the MK party.
Mngxitama’s decision to join forces with MK follows in the footsteps of the African Congress for Transformation (ACT), the All African Alliance Movement (AAAM) and the PAC.
The BLF leader’s decision to join forces with Zuma did not come as a surprise to many as he had always supported the former president in his Radical Economic Transformation (RET) agenda.
“We believe there’s reconfiguration of politics. The right wing is organised and the left wing is the only one that is not organised. The Radical Economic Transformation must be carried by the organised majority left movement,” Mngxitama said.