Gloves off in Limpopo ANC

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

The scourge of tribalism is rearing its ugly head between the Tsonga and Pedi-speaking people in Mopani, Limpopo, as the region prepares for its ANC elective conference in November.

According to the manager in the office of the executive mayor, Chris Chamaano, the region has 47, 8 percent Pedi- speaking while the Tsongaspeaking people stood at 46,2percent.

The rift emerged when the candidate list of names touted by the Tsonga-speaking people list as candidates for the regional executive committee (REC) excluded the Pedis.

The situation was made worse when regional chairman Matome Humphrey Mokgobi publicly announced that he preferred his deputy Joshua Matlou, a Pedi, to succeed him for the good of the organisation.

Mokgobi, who has been earmarked to become MEC for public works after next year's elections, has been elected to the provincial executive committee (PEC) of the province.

According to sources Shangaan-speaking people are counting on Derrick Ngobeni, who is touted to become chairman of the region, while the Pedi speakers want Joshua Matlou as their chairman.

The ANC Youth League in the region wants Matlou to become the chairman and Ngobeni the deputy.

The rest of the league's list consists of Sam Makhubela as secretary, greater BaPhalaborwa mayor Gloria Valoyi as deputy secretary and Clement Phalane as treasurer.

But the large clique of Shangaans wanted Ngobeni as chairman and not Matlou, who has been described by his followers as a "young vibrant cadre who knows the politics of the ANC inside out".

Die-hard supporters of Jacob Zuma, such as the articulate Molebatsi Masedi, who spent sleepless nights fighting for provincial chairman Cassel Mathale to take over the leadership of the province, had been sidelined.

It was a move that was seen as a sign of early cracks within the Zuma faction.

ANCYL regional chairman Norman Machethe confirmed that there were tribal lines and said the only list to be recognised was its own.

"This is the list that will be implemented by the ANC during the conference and any list other than that of the youth league will be regarded as an insult to us," he said.