ROAD TO ELECTIVE CONFERENCE
Stan Mathabatha wins third term but ANC to mull over Limpopo premiership succession plan
Stan Mathabatha has been re-elected to lead the ANC in Limpopo in a comfortable victory over Dickson Masemola during a provincial conference that has uncharacteristically gone ahead without major delay or conflict over credentials.
Now that Stan Mathabatha has been re-elected to lead the ANC in Limpopo, the organisation will have the mammoth task of finding a candidate who is eligible to be the province’s next premier-elect. Mathabatha’s term of office will expire in 2024 when the country goes to the polls for national government elections and he will not be able to lead the province for a third term.
South Africa’s Constitution states that, no person may hold office as premier for more than two terms, with the exception of the period between that election and the next election of a premier is not regarded as a term.
Mathababtha said that there should be no concerns about the province battling with two centres of power namely the State and party.
“Even if I go for the third term, I will not go for a third term in government because there are laws in this country. The fact of the matter is that the ANC was very clear that there will never be two centres of power, there is only one centre of power in the ANC,” he said.
Mathabatha was speaking just after he was announced as the leader of the province at The Ranch Hotel in Polokwane on Saturday, where the party is hosting its three- day conference.
The Limpopo strongman’s landslide victory saw him being supported by 781 delegates opposed to his competitor MEC Dickson Masemola with only 389 votes. Mathabatha says the large margin is indicative of a united province.
Mathabatha’s entire slate was elected to lead the province. He is deputised by Florence Radzilani, a former mayor of Vhembe. Soviet Lekganyane lost the provincial secretary position to Rueben Madadzhe while Basikopo Makamu is now deputy secretary. Naledi Sibanda-Kekana is the new provincial treasurer.
— Queenin Masuabi (@Queenin_M) June 4, 2022
Mathabatha said he would remain friendly with Masemola’s slate and added that a reshuffle was not on the cards.
“As a leader there must always be a succession plan, hence you have seen comrade Dickson contesting the position of chairperson. He has been in my executive council and the PEC and it says that there are a number of them who can succeed comrade Stan Mathabatha as the chair.
“There are executive council reviews that take place in March, April, May every year. By the end of the financial year we do a review. The advisors of the premier will then inform the premier on what course of action can be taken. It cannot be informed by politics of going to conferences in the ANC.
“It is not the first time that comrade Dickson contests me. It is not the first time and we remain friends, that has nothing to do with our deployment in government. So that is how I run things. We do not have any reshuffle (planned) currently,” he said.
The ANC in Limpopo will spend the rest of the weekend in commissions, discussing the party’s policy.
Mathabatha expressed a strong anti-corruption stance as he assured that the province would leave no stone unturned when it came to holding members accountable.
“Amongst the decisions we will take are about the discussion documents and the quality of service delivery in this province. We need to talk about roads, water, electricity, jobs, the performance of deployees in government. The ANC is allergic to corruption, we really do not want to be associated with it. Those who are found to be guilty of it will be dealt with decisively. The ANC as the leader of society must make sure that even in the private sector there is no corruption,” he said.
Mathabatha was one of the first provincial chairs to have openly pronounced on Ramaphosa’s second term at the ANC’s 8 January birthday celebrations, which resulted in a backlash from those who felt it was a premature move.
Masemola has similarly expressed his support for Ramaphosa and taken a strong anti-corruption stance.
Limpopo to be the benchmark
Party treasurer general, Paul Mashatile welcomed the leadership shortly after they were announced and mentioned that the conference was a benchmark for other conferences to come.
Limpopo was the first province to host a seamless gathering. The sitting of branches convened on Friday and by Saturday the new leadership was announced.
Unlike the Eastern Cape, there was no litigation or delays due to credentials. ANC NEC convener to the province Thoko Didiza said that credentials were uncontested which contributed to a seamless process.
The only slight delay was because of the organisational report, however, this was dealt with timeously.
The nomination process was quite dramatic but went ahead without interruptions. Former treasurer Danny Msiza was nominated for the secretary position however he had sent a delegate with a letter saying that he cannot accept the nomination. The letter was handed to Mashatile but instead of reading it aloud he took to the podium to explain why Msiza is not eligible.
Msiza will have to sit this one out because of the ANC’s step-aside resolution which has forced him to relinquish his party duties. This was after Msiza and other politicians as well as VBS executives were formally indicted by the National Prosecuting Authority in March for allegedly looting nearly R2.3-billion from the bank.
Provincial spokesperson Donald Selamolela was nominated for the treasurer position but declined the opportunity.
“You can feel the spirit of unity that is prevailing here. We are happy that we will continue with the conference not only to focus on leadership but also commissions. So on behalf of the national executive committee (NEC) of the ANC and those who are deployed here, I want to say that we are satisfied and things are being handled properly.
“All the best chairperson and your team and we are expecting that you lead our people properly. We have confidence in all of you that you will be able to steer the ship in the right direction. We know that Limpopo is a vast rural area and there may be challenges of water in some places, sort out the potholes, make sure that agriculture thrives in this province,” Mashatile said.
[WATCH] Danny Msiza is nominated for the secretary position however he has sent someone with a letter which says that he cannot accept the nomination. However, instead of reading the letter ANC TG Paul Mashatile takes to the podium to explain why he is not eligible. #ANCLimpopo pic.twitter.com/rzTKU9dCTN
— Queenin Masuabi (@Queenin_M) June 4, 2022
The ANC has already indicated that all other provinces still due to head to conference have to ensure that their disputes are resolved a week before they convene their gathering.
On Sunday, party president Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to close the conference. DM