Time to pick up the pieces, says Free State premier Dukwana

ANC provincial chairperson Mxolisi Dukwana was on Friday sworn in as premier of Free State.

Out of 24 votes cast, Dukwana received 17 while DA candidate Roy Jankielsohn got seven votes. Six other members of the legislature abstained.

Delivering his first speech as premier, Dukwana hinted that his appointment will restore hope to the people of Free State, saying it is time to reclaim the province’s glory.

“This is a day of hope and restoration. It is a day to reclaim our glory and pride,” Dukwana said.

“Today we celebrate the triumph of the human spirit that defeated the monstrous criminal networks whose sole intention was to deny the province achievement and prosperity.

“It is indeed your moment, people of the Free State. This is your moment to pick up the pieces. Thank you all for the opportunity to serve at this level.”

Dukwana’s appointment comes after former premier Sisi Ntombela resigned this week. This after she was recalled by Luthuli House, the ANC headquarters in Johannesburg.

Ntombela failed to garner enough support during the provincial elective conference held in January.

According to senior ANC leaders in the province, she was dealt a blow because she is understood to be “still aligned to former ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule”.

“Sisi’s rise to prominence was engineered by Ace and others in the provincial executive council [PEC],” a member of the new PEC said at the conclusion of the conference.

“Sisi and all her MECs failed to make an impact at the [elective] conference, except for Mxolisi, who emerged as chairperson.

“Sisi will be the first to get the chop as a premier to make way for Mxolisi, then her MECs will follow. The state of the province address will be delivered by Mxolisi, not Sisi.”

Magashule said at the time: “I can’t comment about people I don’t even know.

“I really have not been focused on the politics of the ANC in Free State, because I wanted to give leaders a chance, and I gave them a chance.

“I did not want to be blamed if people succeeded or failed. I decided to disengage.”

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