ANC Secretary-General Fikile Mbalula told the media at the second leg of the party’s national conference that the President and the ANC are still mulling over former party deputy president David Mabuza’s political future. However, he highlighted that a decision would be taken in the near future.
This comes after Paul Mashatile was voted in as the party’s deputy president at the national conference last month. Mashatile was elected over former ANC Youth League leader Ronald Lamola and Eastern Cape chair Oscar Mabuyane, while Mabuza declined a nomination from the floor.
“The conference has sat and we have a new deputy president, the other one is in government and the other one is of the party. Whether or not we would combine or we will allow it [to] go on like that until 2024. At the moment I do want to tell you what I think, I want to give you the actual ANC position. What I can tell you right now is that we are seized with these matters and in the next two weeks, we will be able to give an answer on that,” Mbalula said.
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The ANC leadership is usually aligned with that of the state to avoid what is deemed as “two centres of power” which means it is likely that Mabuza will be booted out.
Not only did he not make the party’s Top Seven, Mabuza also failed to be elected into the organisation’s newly elected National Executive Committee (NEC).
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The ANC is concluding its national conference in the next two days with the party expected to wrap up its discussions on key party policy. Commissions will be held throughout Thursday and Friday.
Whether Eastern Cape provincial executive member Andile Lungisa will be able to assume his position as an NEC member, is yet to be determined. He was allowed to run for the NEC despite having been suspended by the party.
Lungisa faced the ANC’s Provincial Disciplinary Committee after being charged with violating Rule 25.17.2. of the party’s constitution. The charges relate to his criminal record for smashing a glass jug on an opposition party member’s head six years ago.
The party did not manage to conclude its conference as scheduled between 16 and 20 December. The conference was marred by delays which saw its full complement of delegates only being registered on the second day of the gathering.
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However, the party did manage to elect new leadership. Gwede Mantashe was elected as the National Chair, Mbalula as the Secretary-General, Maropene Ramokgopa as the Second Deputy Secretary-General and Gwen Ramokgopa as Treasurer. Nomvula Mokonyane and Mashatile were voted in as First Deputy Secretary-General and Deputy President respectively.
KwaZulu-Natal was again left in the cold as their candidate — former health minister, Zweli Mkhize — fell short of votes in his bid to be the president of the party. While the province has the largest number of members in the ANC, they have not been able to get a candidate voted in as an official. DM