With all eyes on Mpumalanga as one of the influential blocs in the 2017 ANC national congress, regional structures in the province appear to have been gagged.
It is understood that the four Mpumalanga ANC regions have been unable to make up their minds on who they want to lead the ANC in December as they don’t know who provincial leader David Mabuza really prefers.
This is amid the CR17 group making encroachments in the Mpumalanga branches, urging members to go for deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa for the party’s number job.
Mabuza has been meeting with other provinces, trying to convince them to agree on an uncontested leadership in December.
This paper understands through sources in the province that when branches convene branch general meetings soon it will be hard to pronounce as they fear offending Mabuza.
He was previously understood to be gunning for the position of deputy president on a slate that wants ex-AU chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as the president.
Mabuza now wants unity and is not entertaining any call for him to take the position of deputy president.
ANC provincial spokeswoman Sasekani Manzini says it’s not true branches will find it hard to pronounce.
“It’s up to them to decide [who they want to lead the ANC]. The process will be opened for all branches to nominate, discuss policies and constitutional amendments if there are any. Branches will have to fill the nomination packs and then afterwards we consolidate and speak to the other provinces,” she said.
The nomination pack require branches to nominate their preferred top six and additional members and send it to Luthuli House.
The four Mpumalanga regions are Nkangala, Gert Sibande, Hlanzeni and Bohlabela.
Bohlabela ANC regional secretary Follas Sibuyi says they are not scared of pronouncing but don’t want do it and kill the ANC.
“We have been pronouncing for the past 10 years and we killed the ANC. I think we have already pronounced ourselves and we said we don’t want slates but unity,” said Sibuyi.
Sello Matshoga, regional spokesman of the ANC in Nkangala, echoed Sibuyi’s words that “as Nkangala we are clear that we want to see an uncontested national conference”.
“You will understand that the regions do not pronounce in terms of the guidelines, the branches will do that then we consolidate the names [of nominated leaders]. But our message is clear that we want to see an uncontested national conference,” Matshoga said.
Phazamisa Mathe, secretary of the ANC in eHlanzeni, as well as Sabelo Sikhakhane, spokesman in Gert Sibande, didn’t immediately answer questions sent to them.
(edited by ZK)
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