Johannesburg – Limpopo provincial chairperson Stan Mathabatha’s campaign to replace ANC national Chairperson Gwede Mantashe received a major boost when a faction aligned to him won three of the five regions in the province.
The faction, which is aligned to embattled ANC Provincial Treasurer Danny Msiza, was elected unopposed to all the top five leadership positions at the ANC Peter Mokaba regional conference last night after candidates supported by a rival faction, failed to reach a threshold.
Mathabatha’s regional emissary, John Mpe was re-elected chairperson, Pheladi Maseka deputy chairperson, Eugene Masete, regional secretary, Masilo Paya deputy secretary , and Nakedi Kekana treasurer.
The rival faction’s candidates, who called themselves “ CR 22 forces”, wanted Jospeh Machaba as their regional chairperson, and former Polokwane Mayor Thembi Nkadimeng as their deputy and Edgar Maleka as their secretary.
The coterie also contested for additional member positions, but embarrassingly lost with big margins.
Mpe has publicly endorsed Mathabatha to get a third majority as the provincial chairperson when the party hold its elective conference in March next year.
This because it would boost his chances of unseating Mantashe when the party hold its national elective conference in December next year.
A senior ANC member, who is aligned to the CR 22 faction, confirmed that Msiza’s allies won all the top five positions and none of their candidates was elected as additional members.
The member said Msiza’s political nemesis and party provincial secretary Soviet Lekganyane, who is seen to be the face of the CR 22 grouping, was conspicuous by his absence at the conference.
“He was nowhere to be seen, he did not attend this conference. I think it is now clear that it is the end of the road for him.
“This RET forces don’t want him back and he knows that he is not going to retain his position when we hold our elective conference in March next year.
The RET forces are clear that he is a persona non grata, they don’t want him,” said the member.
The RET forces, also beat CR22 faction during ANC Vhembe regional conference held in Khalahari Waterfront in Thohoyandou a fortnight ago.
Msiza’s ally Tshitereke Matibe was elected regional chairperson, beating his rival Dowelani Nenguda, an emissary of Lekganyane, by 204 votes to 174.
Former Thulamela municipal manager Makonde Mathivha was elected deputy chairperson with 203 votes while Rudzani Ludere was elected regional secretary.
Msiza ‘s supporters also won Sekhukhune regional conference which was held at Groblersdal Rugby Stadium.
ANC heavyweight Julia Mathebe beat her rival Stan Ramaila by by 149 votes to 55 to become the first female to lead the region, which is the second biggest after Norman Mashabane.
In Norman Mashabane, which was previously known as Mopani, Ramaphosa ally Pule Shai, was elected regional chairperson with a big margin a few months ago.
Mathebe’s deputy Minah Bahula was elected uncontested and so were regional secretaryTala Mathope, Given Moimana and Eddie Mala were elected secretary, deputy secretary and treasurer respectively.
The member said he was worried Ramaphosa ‘s ambition to retain a second term when the party hold its elective conference in December would be affected as most of the RET forces might not support him as they perceive him to be against radical economic transformation programme.
They said Limpopo, which is expected to be a king maker in the next elective conference scheduled for December next year by virtue of being the second biggest region after Kwa-Zulu Natal, is supposed to be a launch pad for Ramaphosa ‘s second term.
“ As I said before we are worried because we want him to get a second term but the numbers don’t look good.
But our principals at the national level are working hard to lobby these comrades to support the president’s second term.
They are telling them that we should do away with the terms “ CR22 forces” or” RET forces” and come together under one nickname called “ Third Wave”.
A lot of progress is being done in that regard,” said the member.
Msiza’s ally, who also did not want to be named, said they were girding their loins to win the Waterberg conference which is expected to be held early next year.
“A lot of work has been done by our forces, and we want to thank everybody who pulled their weight to win these conferences.
After the provincial conference next year, we can start talking about the national conference but right now we can’t really say anything,” he said.