Contest for Azapo leadership

THE stepping down of long-time Azanian People's Organisation president Mosibudi Mangena has created a leadership contest between "the old and new school" leadership in the party.

THE stepping down of long-time Azanian People's Organisation president Mosibudi Mangena has created a leadership contest between "the old and new school" leadership in the party.

The party is to hold its elective congress later this month, with Mangena's deputy Pandelani Nefolovhodwe and political commissar Nelvis Qekema in the race for the presidency.

Sources in the party said Azapo members who wanted fresh blood were willing to rock the political boat. They are said to be lobbying for Qekema instead of Nefolovhodwe, who is perceived to be representative of the "old school".

Qekema, who was president of the Azanian Students Movement and the Azanian Student Convention, and current national political commissar of Azapo, worked as Mangena's spokesperson during his tenure as cabinet minister.

Sources said Mangena, youth formations aligned to Azapo and members who wanted change in the party, preferred Qekema to succeed him.

But Nefolovhodwe is said to enjoy support in Limpopo, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, and the Eastern Cape.

Azapo general secretary Strike Thokoane confirmed yesterday that Mangena would step down during the party's congress later this month.

"He has also indicated that he will be stepping down in Parliament to allow whoever is elected president of Azapo to take his seat," said Thokoane.

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