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The Limpopo branch of the ANC Women's League (ANCWL) wants Premier Sello Moloto to retain his position when a chairman is elected at a provincial conference at the University of Venda from July 17 to 20.
"The women of the ANC in Limpopo have spoken," provincial ANCWL chairman Machuene Semenya said yesterday.
"We have endorsed Moloto as our preferred candidate to retain his position as chairman of the ANC in the province, and subsequently premier of the province."
The league passed the resolution at its provincial executive council (PEC) meeting in Polokwane on Saturday.
Moloto and provincial secretary Cassel Mathale are both strong contenders for the position.
"As per our resolution, we have agreed in one voice to back Moloto because we believe he is the only person who can take the mandate of the ANC forward just as he has been doing," Semenya said.
"Our members have committed themselves to putting down their crosses for Moloto on the ballot paper."
Semenya's sentiments contradicted a statement made by Maite Marutha, the ANCWL's provincial secretary.
Marutha said during the Peter Mokaba commemorative rally in Mahwelereng earlier this month that the ANCWL would back Mathale.
She reportedly said this in front of a mass meeting when ANC presi- dent Jacob Zuma was also present.
"But when we confronted Marutha about the statement she flatly denied having said it, so she has now changed her tune," Semenya said.
So far only the ANC Youth League has publicly campaigned for Mathale to be elected chairman at the conference.
Some of the party's branches are backing Mathale but their branch meetings were marred by controversies amid allegations of disruptions by certain members who insisted that Mathale be backed at all costs.
Approached for comment yesterday, Marutha said she would still back Mathale.
"The ANCWL is a structure on its own," she said.
"But within the league we are also members of various branches of the ANC.
"I stand by my decision to back Mathale."
The ANCWL will have 22 representatives at the conference.
But out of the 19 provincial executive committee members who attended the meeting, only six backed Mathale.