The battle to succeed DD is heating up seriously in the province.
An emerging lobby group apparently opposed to the one that wants ANC spokeswoman Sasekani Manzini as the new chair of Mpumalanga is infiltrating the ground for secretary Mandla Ndlovu to take the reigns.
The group wants Speedy Mashilo, the current chair of the Nkangala region, to deputise Ndlovu.
Information emerged over social media this week – as well as the strategies of the group – on how they aim to frustrate the other lobby groups ahead of the special congress.
A special provincial congress will sit in April 2018 and elect a person who will continue David Mabuza’s term – after he was elected the deputy president on 18 December 2017 – until a provincial congress sits in 2019.
The group aims to steal a large chunk of delegates from eHlanzeni region by making Pat Ngomane the new provincial secretary and from Bohlabela by pushing for Ndlovu to emerge as chairman at the special congress.
There’s another group that wants Manzini as the chair but another group within this group proposes she becomes the deputy chair and Ngomane becomes the chair.
On Wednesday last week Manzini and Ngomane met in what is reported to be negotiations for Manzini to be the deputy chair.
The organization says just like anybody they have a right to choose who they want to lead the ANC and its government and they will make the pronouncement.
The Practical Radical Economic Transformation (PRET) group wants ANC spokeswoman Sasekani Manzini to take over as the provincial leader of the ANC in Mpumalanga.
A provincial general council (PGC) is expected to be announced and will fill positions in the provincial executive committee (PEC) of the ANC in the province after leader DD Mabuza was elected deputy president as well as his deputy Violet Siwela who was elected as additional member of the NEC in Nasrec on 18 December 2017.
Now PRET is calling on all of their members to influence ANC branches to vote Manzini when the special provincial congress is held around February 2018.
“We don’t owe any individual an explanation, anyone who wants to defeat PRET will meet us in the branches,” secretary Sunday Mathebula said during a press briefing at The Ridge Casino in eMalahleni on Thursday this week.
“Influence the branches in making sure we are going to support a woman and a young woman to become the chair of the province and that is Sasekani Manzini,” he said.
“We have made a call for PRET members to make sure they are ANC members. We will support Sasekani, we know we will be criticised, we say to the branches go there to the branches of the ANC and make sure Sasekani is elected. I will make a call to all the subregions about this. I will do it in person, this is a directive, the secretary has spoken,” Mathebula said.
He said this is the view of the organisation that Manzini, the Public Works MEC also and a former provincial secretary of the ANCYL, should become the leader of the ANC in Mpumalanga as they did when they were supporting Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma towards the 54th national congress.
The organisation also called on President Jacob Zuma to resign and allow newly elected ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa to take charge together with Mabuza.
PRET leaders Themba Sgudla (L) and Sunday Mathebula (R). MfisoDIGITAL.
“Yes, as PRET we supported Comrade Nkosazana and Comrade DD [Mabuza] but of course we also accept that the branches of the ANC have spoken and we are in support of the newly elected leadership under President Cyril Ramaphosa,” Mathebula told the press briefing attended by two publications and a string of PRET members inside a conference room at The Ridge Casino.
He said Zuma “must do the honourable thing and resign like Mbeki” and as PRET they will not be swayed by “mischievous people” who want to sow division in the ANC.
“Mpumalanga is not a sub-region of KZN. The ANC is led by Cyril Ramaphosa and we are in full support of Cyril Ramaphosa,” he said.
The press conference was called to outline the goals of PRET for 2018, which includes assisting youths who want drivers-licences as well as sending others to go train to become paramedics.
They say they plan to buy a lot of companies which the organisation will own and empower youths across South Africa, and this will be complimented by the launch of Limpopo and Gauteng PRET provinces.
They recently bought a R16m brick manufacturing company between eMalahleni and Middelburg and have now added a security company which they say they will use to protect themselves in the course of the struggle of practical radical economic transformation.