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Limpopo's mischief makers

By unknown | Mar 16, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Ido Lekota

Ido Lekota

The ANC succession battle in Limpopo has another dimension - it is more a battle for "access to resources" than of political conviction.

Limpopo ANC members identified as Jacob Zuma supporters are crying foul and have accused other members of using the succession debate to marginalise those holding different political views.

Sekhukhune regional chairman Dickson Masemola said some members were being marginalised in respect of major economic developments in the pipeline in the region.

Masemola said the developments included the building of a huge dam and a massive hydro-electricity project by Eskom.

He said some individuals were trying to replace the leadership of the party so that they could benefit from the projects.

Masemola was responding to statements by people claiming to be Mbeki supporters in Limpopo, who are said to control five of the six regions of the province. Sekhukhune is said to be the only region where Zuma supporters have the upper hand.

Masemola accused those claiming that his region was pro-Zuma of "trying to put our region on a collision course with the national leadership" [of the ANC].

His sentiments about people using the ANC succession debate to marginalise their opponents were shared by Polokwane's executive mayor, Thabo Makunyane.

Makunyane, the former Capricorn chairman of the ANC, was identified by the "pro-Mbeki bloc" that spoke to Sowetan as one of Zuma's supporters who were deposed at a regional conference last year.

He was replaced by Chuene Malebana, said to be a Mbeki supporter.

Makunyane denied that he was deposed and said that he did not stand for re-election. He denied that he was pro-Zuma.

"My loyalty is not to an individual but to the party."

He said the contest for the leadership at regional level was intense.

"People see positions in [municipal] councils as an opportunity for material benefits. They are using the succession debate to tar those they regard as obstacles to their political ambitions with labels like 'pro-Zuma'," said Makunyane.

Political analyst Sipho Seepe said it was expected that the ANC succession debate would be used by individuals to promote their own interests.

Seepe said the people in power were generally regarded as part of the status quo and pro-Mbeki. To marginalise them one had only to label them pro-Zuma and therefore anti-establishment.


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