New DA leader weeps when recalling how Koos Venter supported her


She was elected unopposed to take the reigns of the party from James Masango.

New DA leader Jane Sithole broke into tears when she recalled how eMalahleni councillor Koos Venter and his wife Marianne supported her throughout her political career.

Sithole was elected unopposed as the leader of Mpumalanga DA and delegates cheered rapturously when the party’s electoral team announced her and Bosman Grobler, who became the chair.

The DA has the position of leader who leads the party and that of chairperson, who presides over meetings.

“Many people have shaped my life and my career in politics,” Sithole said while on stage at the main hall of the Graceland Casino in Secunda on Saturday evening.

“I would not be standing before you today if it was not for the support and encouragement that I received from the time I was 29 years old from Koos and Marianne Venter,” she said, before starting to break into tears.

New DA leader weeps when recalling how Koos Venter supported her

“They have raised me and today they are raising my children,” she said, sobbing.

She joined the DA in 1999 and met the Venter family while they were going to gym together.

She was addressing conference as the newly elected leader and said she was proud to serve under the caucus leadership of Venter for 13 years, thankful that “someone believed in me when I did not believe in myself”.

“It is an emotional journey when I look back,” she told the conference.

New DA leader weeps when recalling how Koos Venter supported her

Jane Sithole and Koos Venter in July 2016. PIC Witbank News

Venter is the man who who led a DA march to the eMalahleni police station to lay criminal charges against Theo van Vuuren, the former eMalahleni municipal manager accused of being at the centre of the maladministration and corruption at the eMalahleni municipality.

The fraud and corruption charge Venter laid against Van Vuuren was that he facilitated payments of close to R1 million out of the municipal bank account to a private account while he served as municipal manager there.

“Let’s hold one another’s hand and work together,” Sithole said on Saturday.

New DA leader weeps when recalling how Koos Venter supported her

“Where they preach hate, we must preach love. Where they preach division, we must preach unity. Where they preach fear, we must preach hope,” Sithole said.

“Democrats we need to make sure that the message of hope is more powerful than their message of hate,” she said.

Trudie Grove-Morgan was elected Sithole’s deputy.

New DA leader weeps when recalling how Koos Venter supported her

Trudie Grove-Morgan

The conference also elected Themba Mlotshwa to serve as Grobler’s deputy.

Annerie Weber will serve as the chairwoman of DA Women’s Network, deputised by Elsie van Douwe.

Palesa Mobango got elected as the leader of Mpumalanga DA Youth, deputised by Kuzwakele Mdau and Linky Shongwe.

(edited by ZK)

Send tips to [email protected]

James Masango to retire, gives way to Jane Sithole

A succession plan will see new leaders taking the reigns when a provincial elective congress is held in March 2018.

Mpumalanga DA leader James Masango is retiring from active politics, a spokesperson of the party revealed.

A provincial elective congress at the Graceland Casino in Secunda in March this year will elect new leaders, with Masango voluntarily stepping aside for Jane Sithole to take the baton.

“He is old and has served many years in the party,” provincial spokeswoman Dumisile Masuku told the 013NEWS reporter on Thursday this week.

“He is retiring,” she said.

“And I think after the general elections in 2019 he won’t come back to the legislature. He wants to rest now,” Masuku said.

Nominations for leaders to serve in the Mpumalanga DA closed a week ago and show that Sithole, who is the sole nominee for the position of provincial leader, will emerge unopposed.

SEE ALSO: Jane Sithole to emerge unopposed as Mpumalanga DA leader

Masuku said the party will announce the full list of the nominated candidates but it’s believed Bosman Grobler will be the new chair.

Masango, Sithole and Grobler are the only three members of the DA in the Mpumalanga legislature.

The DA has the positions of leader and that of chairperson and the leader, as in Mmusi Maimane who is the national leader, is the face of the party, and the chairperson, like Athol Trolip, who is currently the national chair, convenes and presides over party meetings.

Sithole, who is currently Mpumalanga chair, will take over as the leader and Grobler may take this seat to become the new chair.

“We will announce the nominated candidates anytime from now,” she said this week.

(edited by MLM)

Send tips to [email protected]

Jane Sithole to emerge unopposed as Mpumalanga DA leader

A nomination list shows she is an uncontested candidate.

DA shadow health MEC Jane Sithole is set to be elected unopposed when a provincial congress is held soon.

Local media reports nominations for the Mpumalanga DA conference have closed and the list shows Sithole will emerge unopposed.

The DA has the position of chairperson and that of leader.

Sithole served as the provincial chairperson and James Masango as the provincial leader.

In an interview with a Mbombela weekly after nominations had concluded, Sithole said she was humbled “she will not face a fight to be elected”.

“I worked hard on the ground so that, if the time comes, I would be deserving. I didn’t expect it to be so smooth,” she said.

“Politics is not a calling, but you cannot do this if you don’t have the passion for it. Otherwise it will frustrate you. It is a job where you give and sometimes you don’t get anything back.

“I am very humbled and honoured,” she added.

(edited by ZK)

Send tips to [email protected]

DA slams Mabuza for not firing Health MEC

Mpumalanga health MEC Gillion Mashego was supposed to be at the top ofthe list of Premier David Mabuza’s fired MECs, the DA said, reacting toMabuza’s cabinet reshuffle.

Mashego failed to implement the turnaround strategy in order toimprove Mpumalanga’s healthcare services, the party said in astatement.

Provincial leader James Masango said the DA has been calling onMabuza to fire Mashego after Mashego “proved time and time again thathe is not fit to lead the vital department”, Masango said.

“Mabuza missed an opportunity to clean up the mess in the HealthDepartment by failing to fire Mashego,” said Masango.

Four MECs were fired by Mabuza this week, and Vusi Shongwe was movedfrom the Safety and Security Department to the Agriculture and LandAffairs Department, replacing axed Andries Gamede. Pat Ngomane came inShongwe’s Safety and Security position.

“The DA is also not convinced that the removal of MEC Vusi Shongwefrom Safety to Agriculture was a clever move,” Masango said.



“Mabuza replaced Shongwe with his former nemesis Pat Ngomane. Ngomanehas clearly been awarded for turning his back on the Save MpumalangaANC group which was calling for the removal of Mabuza as chairman.”

So Ngomane made a U-turn and reconciled with Mabuza before 3 August2016’s local government elections, “and this is his reward and astrategy to bring back the ANC supporters who were part of the SaveMpumalanga ANC group,” said Masango.

“The DA does however welcome the appointment of former ANCYL secretarySasekani Manzini, former mayor of Chief Albert Luthuli localmunicipality Busi Shiba and regional chairman of the ANC in NkangalaSpeedy Mashilo,” he said.

(edited by MLM)