Alex Japho Matlala
2 minute read
22 Jun 2021
5:40 am

‘President’s men’: Ramaphosa supporters elected to lead Mopani district

Alex Japho Matlala

Ramaphosa says leaders must have ‘interest of all the people at heart’.

President Cyril Ramaphosa Picture: GCIS

The ANC’s Norman Mashabane region elective conference in Mopani district in Limpopo seems to have rubber-stamped the party’s contentious step-aside resolution when only supporters of ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa were elected to lead the region for the next four years.

The conference, the first under strict Covid-19 restrictions, was held in Tzaneen from Saturday to yesterday.

Speaking virtually during the conference, Ramaphosa urged the newly elected crop of leaders to be transparent, to work hard and prepared to become servants of the people in delivering the work of the ANC, instead of lining their pockets through graft.

“We must make sure those elected are the right leaders harbouring the interest of all the people at heart. The ANC is in the process of renewal,” he said.

“We must elect people not because they know ANC slogans better, because they can speak the loudest or because they can dance better than others.

“We must elect capable people who can create jobs, increase investors, who will invest in their communities in an endeavour to improve the local economy for the betterment of their families, communities and the country at large.”

Ramaphosa said in an effort to win the upcoming local government elections, the ANC must make sure it is at the forefront of challenges that face their communities.

He said water, roads, electricity and primary healthcare services were the main problems faced daily in communities.

“Our people are yearning for a change. They need water on their doorstep, they need roads and electricity and they need councillors they can trust to change their lives for the better.”

The conference elected a clean sweep of five of Ramaphosa supporters – from chair Pule Shayi, deputy chair Gerson Molapisane, secretary Goodman Mtileni, deputy secretary Dagma Mamanyoga and treasurer Plantina Raganya.

The leadership was contested by a perceived ‘VBS brigade’ led by Greater Letaba mayor Peter Matlou and Greater Tzaneen mayor Maripe Mangena, who contested the position of a deputy chair. Matlou pulled out at the 11th hour, after realising he was fighting a losing battle.

Speaking to The Citizen on the sidelines of the conference, Shayi said the time for the fight over plum ANC jobs was over.

The time was now ripe for the new leadership to go out and deliver services as mandated by ANC branches in the region, he said.

“It must be borne in mind that the real winner for the conference is not the collective announced here, but the actual and real winners will be judged by the amount of work they discharge in communities they live during service delivery.”

Shayi encouraged people to go to the polls in October and ensure that the ANC wins with a two-thirds majority.

Now read: Ramaphosa on winning streak as RET faction wanes