Race is on for top Limpopo posts

Stanley Mathabatha
Stanley Mathabatha

The battle for the chairmanship of the ANC in Limpopo looks set to become a four-horse race between senior party leaders in the province.

Limpopo premier Stanley Mathabatha, his ally Danny Msiza, the ANC provincial treasurer, deputy provincial secretary Makoma Makhurupetje and former MP Humphrey Mokgobi are expected to face off at the party's provincial conference next month.

A list of preferred provincial top-five officials is doing the rounds. It lists Mathabatha as chairman, Joshua Matlou, the former Limpopo ANC Youth League chairman, as deputy chairman, EFF leader Julius Malema's political mentor Lawrence Mapoulo as secretary, Vhembe district municipality mayor Florence Radzilani as deputy secretary and health MEC Phophi Ramathuba as treasurer.

This week, Mokgobi emerged as a strong contender to challenge Mathabatha - a known ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa staunch supporter - for the party's provincial chairmanship's position.

Sowetan has learnt that Mokgobi, who is now a pastor, has been approached by several ANC branches in the Mopani region, which is under the control of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma supporters, to avail himself.

Mokgobi confirmed he had been approached.

"Yes, I have been approached by different branches in the region. I am still thinking about their request. I will make a pronouncement at the appropriate time."

Mokgobi was chairman of the portfolio committee on corporate governance.

He is the former ANC Mopani regional chairman and executive mayor.

Those backing Mokgobi claim that Mathabatha's weak leadership has enabled the EFF to make serious inroads in the province. They said Mokgobi has the capacity to return the ANC to its former glory days.

A senior politician said in one of the informal meetings, ANC bigwigs including President Jacob Zuma decried Mokgobi's political wilderness, saying he had not been used effectively.

Indications were that Mathabatha, who declined nomination for the ANC's national executive committee, would be elected for a second term.

Earlier this month, Mathabatha gave a clear indication that he would run for a second term. "I will never say no if branches want me to stand. If the branches want me to stand, I will stand," he said.

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