Knives out in race for ANC provincial throne

Mvuyo Mati

Mvuyo Mati

Political mind games have begun as the race for the provincial ANC throne heats up.

Mluleki George, the chairman of Amathole district municipality, has unleashed the first political assault on Mcebisi Jonas, a nominee for the Eastern Cape ANC chairmanship.

George, a strong backer of Stone Sizani for the position, said: "No way will the ANC allow Jonas to be the chairman."

About 1500 party delegates will elect their new leadership at the end of the month.

"Don't get me wrong, I've got nothing personal against Jonas, but we cannot allow him to be chairman. We have a good relationship, but he knows my position, that I don't support his nomination," said George.

George would not elaborate on why he was against Jonas taking the chairmanship.

He said the provincial ANC conference, scheduled for November 30 to December 3 at the University of Fort Hare, would have to contend with many years of bitter division in the party.

George said that some of the people contesting positions in the party were divisive and were causing tensions.

He said: "I don't want to apportion any blame. We need to fight hard for unity in the province and find a way of working together."

George backs Sizani for the provincial chairmanship and Mbulelo Sogoni, the current provincial ANC deputy secretary, for a secretariat position.

Reacting to rumours that certain ANC bigwigs were wielding their political influence by asking Sizani to withdraw his nomination, George vowed to challenge anyone who did so.

"Bigwig or no bigwig, we are challenging them to come out into the open," he said.