The ANC in Limpopo faces a risk of disciplinary action after showing Luthuli House the middle finger. This after the party in the province defied orders to suspend ANC Waterberg regional secretary Tolly Mashamaite, who is facing charges of rape and bribery. He is out on bail.
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe wrote a letter to the provincial secretary, Nocks Seabi, last week urging the provincial executive committee (PEC) to request Mashamaite to step aside until his name has been cleared.
The Citizen is in possession of a copy of the letter from Mantashe.
“In view of the serious nature of the charges for which comrade Tolly Mashamaite is out on bail, we are cautious of the negative publicity the trial will undoubtedly attract.
“We therefore urge the PEC to request the comrade to step aside until his name has been cleared.”
The ANC Women’s League also called for Mashamaite’s immediate suspension. But the PEC is yet to take action against Mashamaite, who enjoys the support of many leaders in the province.
According to a PEC member, who refused to be named, ANC bigwigs – including provincial chairperson and Premier Stan Mathabatha, deputy secretary Makoma Makhurupetsi and treasurer Danny Msiza – do not want Mashamaite to be suspended.
The member told The Citizen yesterday that the officials told them if Mashamaite was suspended then it meant many ANC leaders should step aside because they were facing corruption charges. This could be interpreted as a reference to President Jacob Zuma, who is facing hundreds of corruption charges.
Party provincial spokesperson Khumbudzo Ntshavheni declined to comment, saying she got into trouble for speaking about it. She referred all further enquiries to Seabi, who could not be reached for comment. Seabi failed to respond to text messages.
It is understood that the PEC and the Waterberg regional executive committee will meet today to decide on the matter. The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) in the province expressed concern that the PEC was dragging its feet on the matter.
“The ANCYL expect the leadership of the ANC in Limpopo to lead by example like we have seen in the Western Cape on comrade Marius Fransman,” ANCYL provincial secretary Che Selane said in a statement.
“We must not set a wrong precedent and undermine the orders and instruction from Luthuli House. We have a firm belief that when higher structures communicate a decision on a particular matter, the lower structures have a revolutionary obligation to implement such a decision.”
This quagmire comes at the time the ANC in the province is caught between a rock and a hard place on the succession debate. The party is split into two factions – one supporting Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and the other outgoing African Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to succeed Zuma.