Makhura expected to axe SACP bigwig

David Makhura.
David Makhura.
Image: Gallo Images / Leon Sadiki

All eyes will be on Gauteng premier David Makhura tomorrow when he is expected to drop one of his male MECs following pressure from the ANC Women's League (ANCWL).

Sunday World understands that there has been a strong push for Makhura to sacrifice Jacob Mamabolo, the MEC for public transport and road infrastructure to achieve a 60/40 ratio in his cabinet.

He is also the provincial secretary of the SA Communist Party (SACP) in the country's economic heartland.

The ANC national executive committee this week reiterated its instruction to Makhura that he should replace one of his male MECs with a woman for the sake of gender parity.

Makhura has to choose between Mamabolo, an option that is likely to cause tensions with the SACP and Cosatu; education MEC Panyaza Lesufi; MEC for economic development and agriculture Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa; MEC for health Dr Bandile Masuku; and Lebogang Maile, MEC for human settlements.

Insiders said those who are likely to be untouched are Lesufi, who enjoys popular support and Maile, who is the head of the elections in the province. Sunday World understands that the deployment committee of the alliance will meet early tomorrow, just before Makhura announces his decision. During this meeting, a senior SACP leader said, the party and Cosatu will block attempts to fire Mamabolo.

"Not that we are not aware [of the push to oust Mamabolo]. Certain people don't care about our alliance," he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"Why would you want to remove the only leader of the alliance? What is the rationale?"

But one of Makhura's cabinet members said the removal of Mamabolo would not collapse relations in the alliance. "The alliance is well-covered in the legislature, even in the cabinet."

There was a suggestion that Mamabolo be made deputy speaker in the Gauteng legislature.

This week, the ANC Women's League slammed what it called the purging of women leaders who are replaced by men. This was after the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal decided to remove Zandile Gumede as the mayor of eThekwini metro following corruption charges.

The ANCWL president, Bathabile Dlamini, went to the extent of telling President Cyril Ramaphosa at an event recently that some of the women who were being removed would end up establishing a political party with the interests of women at heart.

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