Uncertainty over ANC replacements

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Recently re-elected chairperson of the ANC in the FS, Ace Magashule and his recently elected second in command, Paseka Nompono. Credit: Facebook (@ANCFreeState)

It came as no surprise to many that ANC secretary in the Motheo region, Paseko Nompondo, was elected as the Deputy Chairperson of the party in the province, thereby replacing Thabo Manyoni.
Meanwhile, Ace Magashule was re-elected as the chairperson in the province’s party, however, the question on everyone’s lips is what will happen to Magashule should he emerge victorious as the ANC national’s Secretary General (SG), thereby replacing Gwede Mantashe.
While ANC FS spokesperson, Thabo Meeko, could not be reached for comment to provide clarity on these questions, political analyst, Dr Sethulego Matebesi, said should Magashule be elected as SG, he will have to resign. “We now know that Nompondo is the new deputy, however, if Magashule should be elected at ANC national, I foresee a situation where Nompondo will either become the new chair and the party will then re-convene to elect another deputy, or Nompondo will remain deputy and then the party will convene to choose a new chairperson to replace Magashule,” Matebesi said.
Matebesi added he cannot say with certainty who a suitable chair for the party in the province would be, but his opinion is that a less controversial leader with an excellent track record like current Education MEC, Tate Makgoe, would restore the faith of many in the province with regards to the leadership of the party in the province.
Meanwhile, another court case is hovering over the provincial party as the High Court in Bloemfontein found that at least 28 branch general meetings (BGMs) from four regions in the province had been irregularly constituted and ordered them to be rerun before the conference could continue. Last week, Meeko stated with confidence that this process would run smoothly and claimed that it would be completed without hiccups.
However, it is reported by members in the Manyoni camp, which supports Cyril Ramaphosa as the preferred presidential candidate, that only seven of the 29 BGMs have been rerun and that there is evidence of more than 70 other irregularities.
Four members of the party filed an urgent court application to have the results of the party’s provincial conference set aside. They have also asked that the 402 delegates from the province do not attend the ANC’s national conference where President Jacob Zuma’s successor will be elected.
The matter, which was filed at the High Court in Bloemfontein on Tuesday 12 December, will be heard on Thursday 14 December.
The ANC in the province and its provincial elective council (PEC) had until Wednesday to file their answering papers.

PULANE CHOANE

pulane@centralmediagroup.co.za