ANC announces list of premier candidates

Letsoha-Mathae to replace Dukwana as Ramathuba replaces Mathabatha

ANC Women's League treasurer general Maqueen Letsoha-Mathea to be installed as Free State premier.
ANC Women's League treasurer general Maqueen Letsoha-Mathea to be installed as Free State premier.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

Panyaza Lesufi is set for a return as Gauteng premier should the ANC retain power after the coalition talks now under way.

The ANC on Thursday announced its premier candidates after interviews conducted early this week.

As expected, Phophi Ramathuba has also been announced as the ANC premier candidate in Limpopo where the party garnered 74% in the May 29 polls, with Zamani Saul set to be retained in the Northern Cape with the help of minority parties after failing to win an outright majority.

The ANC has also announced Oscar Mabuyane will return to power in the Eastern Cape.

The announcement of premier candidates by the ANC has come with an unexpected turn.

The ANC has opted to install a woman premier, Maqueen Letsoha-Mathae, in the Free State instead of incumbent Mxolisi Dukwana, who was expected to be retained.

Letsoha-Mathae is seemingly becoming a popular politician in ANC circles having been elected as women’s league treasurer-general last year where she won with a big margin.

She replaces Dukwana, who was last year elected as the Free State provincial chair.

ANC chair in Mpumalanga Mandla Ndlovu has got his wish of leading the province as premier after the party decided to snub its national executive committee member Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane.

The ANC in Mpumalanga got 51% in the elections and will be able to easily install Ndlovu. The party will install Lazarus “Lazzy” Mokgosi in North West.

“The ANC national officials believe [these] comrades are equal to the challenges of our struggle for a better life for all that requires honest, capable and dedicated leaders,” said secretary-general Fikile Mbalula.

After a dismal performance in KwaZulu-Natal, the ANC has decided it will not field a premier candidate. Based on the agreement reached in the government of national unity talks, the ANC is likely to support IFP premier candidate Thami Ntuli, with the DA and possibly the NFP.

The interview process by the ANC officials led by President Cyril Ramaphosa was overseen by the party’s electoral committee led by Kgalema Motlanthe.

Mbalula said the committee was impressed by the impartiality shown by the national officials during the interviews.

“The national officials posed a range of questions to the candidates covering ethical and capable leadership as set out in 'Through the Eye of a Needle' and the six priorities in the ANC 2024 election manifesto that are critical to speeding up transformation and improving the lives of the people: our jobs plan; building our industries to include an inclusive economy; tackling the high cost of living; investing in people; defending democracy and advancing freedom; and building a better Africa and world,” said Mbalula.

“They also interviewed candidates on building a developmental state, building capable local government, protection of human rights and dignity of women, children, young people, older people and LGBTQ+ people and promoting social cohesion. The national officials were impressed by the candidates they interviewed and commended provinces for the quality of nominees.”

It is yet to be announced where the former premiers of the Free State and Mpumalanga, Dukwana and Mtsweni-Tsipane, will be redeployed. The two are known Ramaphosa allies. – TimesLIVE

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