Feud boils over in public

Sello Moloto, Limpopo premier. Pic. Sydney Seshibedi. 31/05/03. © Sunday Times.
Sello Moloto, Limpopo premier. Pic. Sydney Seshibedi. 31/05/03. © Sunday Times.

Frank Maponya

Frank Maponya

A bitter feud between Limpopo Premier Sello Moloto, pictured, and his MEC for economic development, environment and tourism, Collins Chabane, has spilled over into the public arena.

On Monday night, Moloto walked out of the launch of the 2010 Tourism Strategy in Polokwane where Chabane was to address delegates. The two apparently had a heated exchange before the event.

After Moloto's departure, his sports, arts and culture MEC, Joyce Mashamba, followed him, leaving VIPs in the lurch. Moloto is provincial chairman of the ANC and Mashamba his deputy. Chabane is regarded as Moloto's senior because he is a member of the ANC's national executive committee.

Moloto was conspicuous by his absence in the provincial legislature in Lebowakgomo yesterday, where Chabane was to present his department's budget vote.

Neither Moloto nor Chabane could be reached for comment yesterday.

Spokesman for the provincial government Paul Mainganye said"departments present their budgets and it's not compulsory for everyone to attend".

A source revealed that the relationship between the two politicians is at an all-time low and the two had not been on speaking terms for some time.

"It wasn't surprising to see the two exchange words in public because it has been coming for a long time," said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The tiff between Moloto and Chabane, the source said, started after Moloto's appointment as premier in 2004.

Non Sepedi-speaking MECs allegedly approached ANC headquarters at Luthuli House and voiced their displeasure at the appointment of "another Mopedi" to head the province.

Ngoako Ramatlhodi had just completed his two terms as premier.

Soon after that the non Sepedi-speaking MECs snubbed a function in Moletjie where Moloto was to be honoured for his achievements by Kgoshi Kgabo Solomon Moloto III.