Former ANC provincial secretary in Mpumalanga, Mandla Ndlovu, has been elected the new chairperson.
Ndlovu’s Focus faction made a clean sweep, winning all the top five positions while their main rivals from the Ngci faction lost out during the provincial conference held in Emalahleni on Saturday.
The Ngci faction supported deputy party president David Mabuza when he led the province and he had hoped that former provincial secretary, Lucky Ndinisa, would win the top position to boost his support at the national conference later this year.
Ndlovu’s deputy is former Nkangala regional chairperson, Speedy Mashilo. The new secretary is former Gert Sibande regional chairperson, Muzi Chirwa and his deputy is Lindiwe Ntshalintshali, who was elected at the last conference.
The biggest winner was new treasurer, Mandla Msibi, who had stepped aside from his ANC work as provincial elections manager and was fired from his post as MEC for agriculture, rural development, land and environmental affairs after he was charged for double murder last August.
Msibi insisted that the charges against him were politically motivated and were intended to tarnish his image ahead of the December conference.
In reaction to the elections outcome, Msibi said: Sanity has prevailed. ANC members have spoken. We have been linked to a lot of shenanigans but people said we will elect them. We are really humbled by the responsibility we have been given to serve the ANC
Ndlovu’s faction showed its strong hand by placing most of its members in key municipal positions after the November 1 local government polls.
In the build-up to the Saturday conference, branch members tried to interdict it from going ahead. Their argument was that the provincial executive committee (PEC), which organised the conference, did not have that right as its term had expired.
The national working committee disbanded the PEC about two weeks ago, but put all the PEC members into the provincial task team. This did not go down well with the other factions which had hoped the task team would be all-inclusive.