Is Mpumalanga taking the CR22 path?

Is Mpumalanga taking the CR22 path?
CHARM OFFENSIVE: ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa seems to be on an offensive to woo structures to support his CR22 campaign, with Mpumalanga joining the band wagon of calling for a second term. PICTURE BY Gallo Images/Philip Maeta

The real battle will occur in December 2022.

President Cyril Ramaphosa appears to be someone who will emerge unopposed at the ANC’s 55th elective congress as Mpumalanga comes out to be one of the provinces that look set to take the CR22 path.

Ramaphosa had previously been endorsed by provinces such as Limpopo, Northern Cape and Eastern Cape – with Mpumalanga now joining in.

Last month, Nkangala ANC chairman Speedy Mashilo endorsed Ramaphosa at the regional general council (RGC) held in Middleburg on 20 February 2022 but was booed by delegates who charged that they didn’t want Ramaphosa as he was using the step-aside rule to purge comrades and that also his government preferred “white people” for economic empowerment.

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This week provincial interim convener Mandla Ndlovu, who has run Mpumalanga as the acting provincial chairman since the departure of deputy president David Mabuza in December 2017, endorsed Ramaphosa while the President was visiting branches in the Ehlanzeni region.

Ndlovu has been a strong ally of suspended secretary-general Ace Magashule, supporting the NDZ camp in Nasrec and even preferring to dump Mabuza for allegedly selling out the NDZ camp to Ramaphosa at the 11th hour.

Ndlovu, Mashilo, provincial co-ordinator Lindiwe Ntshalintshali and Gert Sibande ANC leader Muzi Chirwa have been running a slate in the lead up to the Mpumalanga ANC congress that had been traditionally seen as being RET but now both Ndlovu and Mashilo have dumped the slate, leaving a lonesome Ntshalintshali in the camp.

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Ntshalintshali lambasted Ndlovu for endorsing Ramaphosa, saying it was “premature” of him to do so.

“Very premature because national [ANC] hasn’t yet opened this processes and our organizational culture says you cannot start discussing or debating an item that is not opened,” she said.

Ndlovu had told a meeting attended by Ramaphosa in the Ehlanzeni region Monday 7 March 2022 that Ramaphosa should accept a nomination for a second term.

“President Cyril Ramaphosa is a leader of leaders, we know the ANC is safe in you President. Comrade President, you are also safe in Mpumalanga,” Ndlovu said as branch members clapped hands while Ndlovu was welcoming the President.

In April 2021, Ntshalintshali told Newzroom Afrika’s Stephen Grootes that the suspension of Magashule was unfair.

““I think it will be proper that the matter is handled in a manner that is correct,” Ntshalintshali said then.

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“How many more people are they going to level allegations against and at the end they are acquitted, hence we are saying that the decision should be implemented in a manner that doesn’t step on the toes of our Constitution.

“We don’t want to say people must step aside only to find that it was a witch-hunt and then the ANC takes a blame, hence we want to be thorough when we implement. Some of these matter are politically motivated, hence we are saying let’s follow the processes properly and not use courts to fight the processes of the ANC,” she said.

(edited by MLM)
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