The leaders say they do not talk about positions now until branches have said so.
A call that began a year ago for Ermelo’s influential leader Sibusiso ‘The Great’ Sgudla to take charge as the provincial deputy chairman is currently intensifying in Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane’s circles.
Provincial treasurer Vusi Shongwe could retain his post or move to become the deputy chair for The Great to become the new treasurer or deputy chair if Shongwe retains his treasurer seat.
Sources speak of internal discussions taking place and leaders preparing to come out to the ground and test the wasters with a visibly defined slate.
Lobbyists in Gert Sibande region said it was time for Gert Sibande to get the provincial deputy chairperson position. But The Great himself is said to be not interested in leading from the front, preferring rather to “influence from behind” and push favoured candidates to the front…
The leaders are currently busy in caucuses and their discussions centre around Tsipane being the chairwoman, Sgudla being her deputy or treasurer, Pat Ngomane as secretary, Sasekani Manzini as deputy secretary and Shongwe to retain her post or become deputy chairman.
The Great Sgudla, who is one of Tsipane’s key lobbyists in Mpumalanga, is deputy president DD Mabuza’s most important lieutenant in Gert Sibande and on Sunday 19 January 2020, he chaired a meeting of Gert Sibande branches that were convened to declare support for Tsipane.
An influential and charismatic leader in personal character, is someone known for running the ANC show behind the scenes. The 50-year-old Sgudla – once nicknamed Deputy Premier during Mabuza’s tenure as Premier – is the political opponent of Gert Sibande ANC leader Muzi Chirwa and is currently intensifying campaigns to do away with Chirwa.
The Sgudla forces want Mkhondo mayor Vusi Motha to come replace Chirwa at an upcoming regional congress and former ANCYL regional leader Khulani Nhlabathi to be the Gert Sibande ANC secretary.
When addressing branch leaders at Ermelo’s Grasslands lodge on Sunday afternoon, Sgudla said there will never be a time in his whole political life when he contests Shongwe, who is his blood cousin.
He said either reports that he would support Nkangala leader Speedy Mashilo for the position of deputy chair or suggestions that he would contest as deputy chair were not true because branche meetings still needed to take place.
“I never said that,” Sgudla told the scores of branch leaders from most of the 7 Gert Sibande sub-regions who had come to fill Grasslands conference centre.
“I said that I won’t contest Vusi Shongwe and I said that I won’t be available for positions that are not discussed by branches. That’s what I said,” he said, adding “other things I don’t know”.
Sources said leaders want Gert Sibande to “occupy Number Two”, a reference to the seat of deputy provincial chairperson and this could be given to The Great or Shongwe while discussions behind the scenes continue to take place.
The regions await national secretary Ace Magashule to sign-off on the final audit report and then branches will begin BGMs to nominate their favoured candidates.
The Chirwa forces in the region are opposed to Nhlabathi becoming the new secretary – instead they want acting secretary Lindi Masina as the new secretary and former ANCYL regional leader Trevor Nkosi who is an REC member to move to the position of deputy secretary and for acting provincial chairman Mandla Ndlovu to be the new provincial chair, deputised by Mashilo, Chirwa as secretary, deputised by acting secretary Lindiwe Ntshalintshali while Pienaar strongman Mandla Msibi emerges their treasurer.
(edited by ZK)
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