Mathale touted as future Limpopo premier

Frank Maponya

Frank Maponya

The richest branch of the ANC in Limpopo, the Ike Maphoto branch, has proposed Cassel Mathale as its preferred candidate for chairman of the organisation and so subsequently as premier of the province.

The branch nominated Mathale, the current provincial ANC secretary, at its meeting in Bendor, Polokwane, on Tuesday night.

The move is seen as a victory for Mathale who, until the latest developments, was said to be trailing his closest rival, Sello Moloto, with a sizeable number of branches.

Moloto is the current chairman and premier of the province.

The ANC in the province is expected to elect its officials at a conference scheduled for the University of Venda next month.

In a statement titled "The beginning of the end of the contest" Ike Maphoto branch chairman Naphtali Molope said they hoped to restore cohesion and consolidate the strength and unity of the movement.

"It is our conviction that the tasks ahead [general elections and organisational work] need a leadership collective that will enable the ANC to pass the test with distinction," the statement read.

"The nominations were unanimous and without contest...

"We will, in the build-up to the conference, persuade and encourage other branches to support our position, as this is the one that will take us forward."

The the list of nominees of the branch comprises names that are prevalent in the so-called Zuma camp.

Dickson Masemola was nominated as deputy chairman, Joe Maswanganyi as secretary, Pinky Kekana as Maswanganyi's deputy and Dipuo Letsatsi as treasurer.

A source said Moloto's name was suggested during the nominations for additional members but that no one seconded the nomination.