Speedy Mashilo has soft spot for Cyril Ramaphosa

Speedy Mashilo has soft spot for Cyril Ramaphosa
RACE TO PEC: Nkangala ANC leader Speedy Mashilo changes tact by endorsing President Cyril Ramaphosa for second term as ANC president ahead of the PEC in April. PICTURE by 013NEWS

This may pit him against his influential allies in Mpumalanga who want him in the provincial top 5 but are aligned to the RET camp.

Nkangala ANC leader Speedy Mashilo is currently on a charm offensive to woo his Mpumalanga comrades to support President Cyril Ramaphosa’s bid for a second term when the party holds its 55th national congress in December 2022.

This move might work against him as his allies want him in the provincial top 5 when the province holds the much-awaited 13th elective congress to elect deputy president David Mabuza’s successor in the highly divided province.

Mashilo, who has run the Nkangala ANC region for three terms, is currently fighting to install a successor in the region ahead of the regional conference in April 2022 as battles for control of the land of the rising sun intensify.

ALSO SEE: Peter Nyoni supports DD Mabuza as Cyril Ramaphosa’s deputy once again

Mashilo is punted as the provincial deputy chairperson on a RET slate that wants acting provincial chairman Mandla Ndlovu as the chair, Gert Sibande ANC leader Muzi Chirwa as the provincial secretary and acting provincial secretary Lindiwe Ntshalintshali to retain her post of deputy provincial secretary. The camp also wants murder accused and suspended ANC’s Mbombela strongman Mandla Msibi as the provincial treasurer.

Speedy Mashilo has soft spot for Cyril Ramaphosa
Mandla Msibi was suspended as MEC of agriculture after being charged with the murders of Dingane Ngwenya and Sipho Lubisi who were shot dead on 22 August 2021. PIC by IOL

On Sunday 20 February 2022, Mashilo was booed during the Nkangala ANC RGC (regional general council) when he told delegates of the RGC at the Middelburg banquet hall that Ramaphosa should be given a second chance as was former President Jacob Zuma.

ALSO SEE: Refilwe Tsipane and Mandla Ndlovu fight to control Mpumalanga

“No! We don’t want that man,” delegates shouted at Mashilo in their numbers. 

“You will support him alone,” one delegate charged while Mashilo was on the podium, trying to convince them about a CR22 path.

Speedy Mashilo has soft spot for Cyril Ramaphosa
Nkangala ANC regional chairman Speedy Mashilo. PIC by 013NEWS

Mashilo had told the delegates that Ramaphosa’s cabinet doesn’t have a minister or deputy minister since the death of minister in the presidency Jackson Mthembu from Covid-19 on 21 January 2021.

“I think that we should speak to him to consider one of our own in his cabinet and in that way he will get our support,” Mashilo told the delegates, but the delegates fumed – charging that they want nothing to do with Ramaphosa as he is purging comrades using the step-aside rule and favours “white people” for economic empowerment in his government 

The RGC was attended by key Ramaphosa allies in Mpumalanga – Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane who contests Ndlovu on the post of provincial chairperson and health MEC Sasekani Manzini who is also the provincial ANC spokesperson and who could contest acting secretary Lindiwe Ntshalintshali on the post of deputy provincial secretary.

But they didn’t address the RGC – only Mashilo and Ntshalintshali, a known ally of suspended secretary-general Ace Magashule, addressed the delegates.

Speedy Mashilo has soft spot for Cyril Ramaphosa
Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane is a known ally of President Cyril Ramaphosa and wants the post of ANC provincial chairperson. PIC by 013NEWS

Sources said the RGC was convened in order to discuss the “roadmap” towards the Mpumalanga ANC 13th congress.

Mashilo didn’t answer his phone when 013NEWS tried to call him on Thursday midday.

Nkangala ANC spokesman Sello Matshokga said the region’s term expired in August 2021 and were preparing to hold a conference in April 2022.

“The provincial conference will sit first, probably the second week of March but I can’t confirm anything as we are still waiting for the formal communication from the province,” he said when he spoke to the 013NEWS reporter over the phone.

ALSO SEE: Robert Gumede wins court case to continue police tender

The Nkangala battles ahead of the April conference are said to be occurring between district mayor Leah Khoza and deputy ANC chair Thomas Ngwenya who are both contesting the post of regional chairperson.

Khoza is said to be aligned to Mashilo and Ngwenya to DD Mabuza’s crypto ally Mduduzi ‘Mswati’ Nkosi who eyes the post of regional secretary. Khoza’s slate wants acting secretary Thomas Mabena to be the regional secretary.

(edited by ZK)

Send tip-offs to editor@013.co.za