Tension brews in ActionSA over choice of party’s face in Gauteng

ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba’s alleged ambition to be the party’s Gauteng premier candidate, has caused turmoil within the party as some prefer the organisation’s provincial chairperson, Funzi Ngobeni, over the party leader.

This was revealed by party senior leaders, who claim that Mashaba harbours ambitions of being the premier candidate in Gauteng.

Party members claim that Mashaba and his camp expressed to the ActionSA senate, the party’s highest decision-making body, that the former mayor and his cabal pointed out that Ngobeni was not popular among the voters in Gauteng.

“Herman and his supporters had taken advantage of Funzi, as they claimed that he was not a popular politician in Gauteng and that if he is appointed as a premier candidate, it will be a grave mistake for ActionSA when we go to elections.

“Herman and his people claimed that Funzi was not a great person to help the party win Gauteng, as he was seen as a back bencher with no leadership skills,” said a party insider.

However, when Sunday World asked Mashaba about allegations that he was harbouring ambitions of being the premier candidate, the president of ActionSA poured cold water on the claims.

“Those people who told you that are nyaope addicts who are part of drug cartels I am fighting in Gauteng. They use drugs and later hallucinate because they are high.

“I have never had ambitions of becoming a premier candidate for Gauteng.

“People who are on drugs are peddling lies. I have no qualms against Funzi, and we work quite well in the party,” said Mashaba.

When asked why he had not announced the Gauteng premier candidate as he did with other provinces, except the Western Cape, Mashaba said that he would make the announcement next Thursday.

“I will be announcing the premier candidate of Gauteng next Thursday, and you will find out who the person we have elected as our premier candidate is.

“Right now, I won’t say who is a preferred candidate,” he said.

Another senior leader said that Mashaba’s supporters claimed that the businessman-turned politician commanded a huge support in the province, as he was once a mayor of Johannesburg and was well respected by many people in Gauteng.

Mashaba said that he was fond of Ngobeni and that those who claim that there is a fallout are talking rubbish.

“I am not going to entertain people who are drug and alcohol addicts.

“Funzi and I are on good terms as we are busy building our party, but there are people on drugs who are absolutely talking rubbish about us,” said Mashaba.

Ngobeni said: “It is for the first time I hear about this. Where is this thing coming from? Yes, Mashaba is more popular than Funzi, and there is no doubt about it. You can’t compare Funzi and Ntate Mashaba, as that will be an unfair comparison.”

He said Mashaba will announce the Gauteng premier candidate next week.

“It was announced on Friday that he is the presidential candidate, and he just needs to apply his mind, and it is his prerogative. If he feels like announcing Funzi, that’s good, but if it should be somebody else, we will have to respect his decision. Remember, we are here to fix the country, and we don’t expect to be paid by positions.”

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