(NB: This story has since been updated to include full comments of Limpopo ANC spokesperson Jimmy Machaka).
ANC Limpopo provincial officials have blocked their provincial secretary, Reuben Madadzhe, from sending the list of election candidates to Luthuli House following widespread allegations of a rigged process.
This after Madadzhe defied their instructions to fix his blunders and regularise the list. After his defiance, the ANC top five in the province are expected to adopt a proposal tomorrow to appoint independent auditors to do a deep dive into alleged irregularities in the formulation of the list, including signature forgery.
According to sources within the ANC provincial executive committee (PEC), the list does not feature any provincial officials in the top 20. This is the list of candidates who will represent the ANC at the provincial legislature and provincial executive council after next year’s elections.
Provincial chairperson Stan Mathabatha was expected not to make the province-to-province list since he is transitioning to national politics while Madadzhe cannot because he is full-time at the governing party’s provincial office, Frans Mohlala House.
But it was the omission of deputy chairperson Florence Radzilani from the Top 20 that raised eyebrows and led to Madadzhe being stopped in his tracks.
Sunday World understands that Radzilani is the preferred premier candidate by the majority of PEC members. She was expected to top the province-to-province list.
Our informants said Madadzhe ensured this did not happen as he favoured health MEC Phophi Ramathuba.
But in what has been termed a “vicious coup that failed”, it is said that Madadzhe’s attempt to keep out deputy provincial secretary Basikopo Makamu and provincial treasurer Nakedi Sibanda-Kekana was a move that broke the camel’s back.
Insiders claim that Madadzhe set out from the outset to keep out his colleagues when he appointed his personal assistant (PA), Linda Morule, to become the list administrator without approval from the list committee and the PEC.
PEC spokesperson Jimmy Machaka confirmed that Madadzhe’s PA was indeed appointed list administrator.
As if that were not enough, our moles added that the nomination boxes were opened in the absence of regional secretaries, which is against the rules.
“The PS [provincial secretary] and his people managed to tamper with the list, and when members of the list committee went to present to the officials, they actually distanced themselves from the list, saying they do not know that list,” said our deep throat with knowledge of how the process unfolded.
“What became worse is that when the nomination boxes were opened, it emerged that the regional secretaries were excluded from that process.
“These comrades are brazen because PEC spokesperson Jimmy Machaka called certain comrades, telling them that ‘me and the PS processed you; we are in charge, and if you do not agree with us, you will not make the Top 20’,” another insider added.
Apparently, the plot was going well until members of the list committee disowned the so-called province-to-province list, which was destined for Luthuli House and would have meant the beginning of the end for those that were outside of the Top 20.
The grouping that Madadzhe tried to keep out is expected to mount a fight back at tomorrow’s weekly provincial officials meeting. It is at this meeting that it is expected that a motion for the appointment of independent forensic auditors will be moved and adopted.
Despite the three officials being excluded from the Top 20 of what is now called the “Madadzhe and Machaka Top 20”, it is said that provincial chairperson Stan Mathabatha will go against the provincial secretary, who insists no wrong was done.
“The PS was taking chances, shem. His list will be subjected to an independent forensic audit, and branches will one by one have to verify that the information said to be from them is indeed true in terms of the signatures and the names contained thereto allegedly submitted by branches.
“It was a proper coup that they attempted, but the whole thing will start from scratch. “They will not win. We have the majority in the provincial officials and PEC.”
Machaka denied that he and Madadzhe were out to see the backside of their PEC colleagues.
“There is no manoeuvre employed in favour of anyone, no one was advantaged here, it is unknown at this stage who is topping the list, we will only know after vetting,” said Machaka.
Madadzhe, according to Machaka, did not commit irregularities.
“He is a very credible and disciplined leader of the ANC with high moral values,” he said.
He said the ANC in Limpopo had no role in the nomination process, which was the work of the provincial list committee (PLC).
He said the list process did not involve regional secretaries, and there was no need for them to be present when boxes were opened, noting that the boxes were highly secured with 24-hour CCTV.
“There are no maneuvers employed in favour of anyone, no one was advantaged here, it is unknown at this stage who is topping the list.
“We will only know after vetting and only when the list is presented at the provincial extended meeting.”
Machaka denied that any of the top five officials were frustrated.
“Branches made their choices, let’s await the outcomes once formerly announced by the PLC,” he said, adding that he had no knowledge of any list disputes.
“If there is any such move, it is premature because, as of now, there are no final outcomes of the list nomination process.
“The list will only be sent to national offices once finalised by the province, and this has not happened at this stage.”
He also brushed off claims that he had boasted on a phone call that Madadzhe was in charge and would sabotage the other officials.
“Whoever claims I have done so is misleading you, and that’s not true. The provincial secretary does not process people, he is a man of high ethical values, self-respecting, and loves the ANC wholeheartedly.”