Bundles of cash rack Refilwe Tsipane’s ANC campaign

Bundles of cash rack Refilwe Tsipane's ANC campaign
LOOT: The dishing out of cash in what is seen to be Premier Refilwe Tsipane's campaign machinery ahead of the party's provincial conference has irked the ire of many within the ANC. PICTURE BY MoneyWeb

Her lobbyists this week disassociated her from the matter and said blame should go to the individuals involved.

A new drama in Mpumalanga ANC politics is causing serious damage to Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane’s campaign as her lobbyists get criticised for using money to allegedly buy the upcoming 13th elective conference.

One of her key lobbyists, eHlanzeni leader Ngrai Ngwenya, is caught in a video clip doing the rounds on social media throwing R100 notes into crowds while standing on an ANC branded stage-truck during a rally in Nkomazi.

Surprisingly though Lomdzala shot down Zakhele Potted, a member of the ANC in the region, who had earlier thrown R20 and R50 notes into crowds, saying as ANC eHlanzeni they condemn the throwing of money into crowds. But then Lomdzala himself is seen throwing the notes to a crowd.

The use of money is not welcomed by other ANC members who say the party’s culture doesn’t allow this to happen.

“If you noticed lately they also use government events to campaign for seats in the ANC. That is wrong. We are looking for a fair contest and we don’t want to see what we saw in the last provincial conference and Nasrec again,” one of the leaders said.

Bundles of cash rack Refilwe Tsipane's ANC campaign
The money is transported in the boots of top of the range vehicles, like high-performance Mercedes Benzs

The need for politicians in Mpumalanga to go reach out to members and supporters comes while eHlanzeni and Gert Sibande prepare for elective conferences later on this year, outcomes of which will be important for the 13th provincial congress that will elect deputy president DD Mabuza’s successor and where frontrunners acting chairman Mandla Ndlovu and Tsipane will face off with each other for the top job.

In a press statement they released a few weeks ago, Gert Sibande ANCYL secretary James ‘Castro’ Nkosi said they have long spoken out about the issue of money being used to influence the views of delegates.

He said they have recently also heard allegations doing the rounds of those who pledge to support ANC REC member Khulani Nhlabathi for the position of regional secretary had been promised jobs by leaders with influence in government and linked to Tsipane’s campaign. 

Both Nhlabathi and regional deputy secretary Lindi Masina gun for the position of Gert Sibande secretary that was left vacant when Audrey Maleka got elected to Parliament’s council of provinces after the May 2019 general elections. This results in the elective RGC to be held later on this year in the region.

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Masina is favoured by Ndlovu while Nhlabathi is favoured by Tsipane. The Ndlovu camp wants Masina to be the new secretary and ANC REC member Trevor Nkosi to become her deputy.

Bundles of cash rack Refilwe Tsipane's ANC campaign
Gert Sibande ANC deputy secretary Lindi Masina who is favoured by Mandla Ndlovu for the regional secretary position when an elective RGC is held, possibly later on this month

Ndlovu has the backing of the Gert Sibande ANCYL that wants him as chair, Nkangala leader Speedy Mashilo as deputy chair, Gert Sibande leader Muzi Chirwa as secretary, acting secretary Lindiwe Ntshalintshali to retain her post as deputy secretary and Piennar strongman Mandla Msibi as treasurer in the conference.

Castro said as ANC they should not be seen as diverting from their ideology of [the] national democratic revolution.

“This boils out to say that as ANC we no longer have anything to offer to our masses and that the only thing we have for our people is to distribute money. It can’t be correct. People must follow the ANC for what it stands for and that is its ideology of the NDR,” Castro said.

He said the ANC is about the struggles of the NDR that is aimed at achievement a ‘national democratic society’, where everybody is free “and it can’t be a quick thing to riches”.

“For example if one may ask a comrade who go around distributing money in R20s and R200s where does he get it? So you see we are in a difficult time of our struggle. Unfortunately,” he said.  

EHlanzeni ANCYL RTT member Siyabonga Malandule, who is one of key Tsipane’s lobbyists, in a video sent to 013NEWS this week, is seen addressing crowds from an ANC stage telling the crowds that they were happy that Lomdzala had condemned the issue of money flying off ANC stage trucks.

Bundles of cash rack Refilwe Tsipane's ANC campaign
Refilwe Tsipane who contests the position of chairperson

“Comrade Ngrai we want to thank you for stopping what happened because people only know that particular part of that element and they don’t know that you actually condemned it and you even told Zakhele Potted [the guy who distributes money] to not continue.

“By the way Zakhele is not a member of the ANC. He is just a businessperson who supports the ANC,” said Malandule.

Tsipane’s camp runs a very strong campaign in the eHlanzeni region and with the backing of Mabuza’s most important lieutenants in that region, the camp now wants to make encroachments in the other 2 regions of Gert Sibande and Nkangala that are controlled by two of Ndlovu’s allies, Muzi Chirwa and Speedy Mashilo.

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In Gert Sibande, the Tsipane camp is backed by Sibusiso ‘The Great’ Sgudla – Mabuza’s most important lieutenant in that region, who is opposed to Ndlovu becoming the new chair of the Mpumalanga ANC.

The Great supports Nhlabathi in regional battles and wants Tsipane to be the ANC provincial chairwoman at the conference and Pat Ngomane to contest the position of provincial secretary that Gert Sibande’s leader Chirwa also eyes on Ndlovu’s slate.

Bundles of cash rack Refilwe Tsipane's ANC campaign
ANC spokeswoman Sasekani Manzini who is punted as deputy secretary on a slate of Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane and where acting secretary Lindiwe Ntshalintshali will also contest for the same position on an opposing slate

In Nkangala, treasurer Moko Tlou is promising to go with Tsipane while chairman Mashilo opts for a different path that will see delegates delivered to support Ndlovu at the party’s 13th congress. 

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The Tsipane camp is also said to favour eHlanzeni-Bohlabela ANC RTT convener Gillion Mashego or Lomdzala himself to become the new eHlanzeni leader and businessman and RTT member Nathaniel Mashile to be the regional secretary while Ndlovu wants RTT member Jackie Macia to chair and Follas Sibuyi to be secretary.

Another lobbyist who is also an REC member of the youth league in Nkangala said they were determined not to allow young people to be divided by old people.

“We were never elected to go around pronouncing slates, especially of the old guard.

“We are yet to sit as the ANCYL in Nkangala and we shall pronounce our view, but to tell you the truth, the Muzi-We-Ndlovu is having the largest piece of Nkangala”.

(edited by MLM)

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