Balindlela quits ANC, joins Lekota

Eric Naki

Former Eastern Cape premier Nosimo Balindlela has resigned from the ANC, blaming the party's general secretary, Gwede Mantashe, for the humiliation she suffered when she was kicked out while away on government business overseas.

She also announced that she was joining the new SA Democratic Congress initiated by former ANC national chairman Mosiuoa Lekota.

She said yesterday that the removal of former president Thabo Mbeki had been the last straw.

"For me personally the shocking treatment and subsequent recalling of Mbeki who, as a loyal, committed and dedicated cadre led the ANC with passion for the betterment of the lives of the poorest of the poor, was the last straw," she said.

In a hard-hitting letter to Mantashe yesterday, Balindlela said despite Eastern Cape having accepted the results of Polokwane and resolving to work for unity and cohesion, the ANC NEC, especially Mantashe, "came down blazing on the Eastern Cape PEC with unilateral , controversial and divisive decisions".

She claimed Mantashe personally named her as one of the "three wild dogs" that were destabilising Eastern Cape. The others are MEC for local government and housing Thoko Xasa and the party's provincial secretary, Siphato Handi.