Eric Naki
Political Editor
2 minute read
20 Feb 2017
6:31 am

Mantashe accused of ‘manipulating process’ and sending Molefe’s name

Eric Naki

Analysts say even if Molefe becomes finance minister, it won't happen without a big fight in the ANC first.

Secretary-general of the ANC Gwede Mantashe at their 2016 NEC meeting in Irene on August 14 2016. Picture: Michel Bega

Former African National Congress (ANC) provincial chairperson China Dodovu said none of the three branches at Hartbeespoort in Sedibeng region had a member named former Eskom chief Brian Molefe on their lists. He questioned how Molefe was nominated as a member from Ward 29 when that branch knew nothing about him.

Dodovu challenged ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, who is supposed to approve parliamentary national lists from provinces, to give an explanation.

“They have manipulated the process. The branch leadership in all the three branches in Hartebeespoort and the regional executive members don’t know about this,” Dodovu said. He said Molefe’s name must have been sent by Mantashe and he should, therefore, be able to answer to this issue. “How do we trust them when they mislead us so much?” Dodovu asked.

Meanwhile, a senior political commentator has said if President Jacob Zuma appoints former Eskom chief Brian Molefe as finance minister, trouble could ensue within the ANC, with rebellion in Cabinet and parliament.

Two political analysts have confidently speculated Molefe is destined for the finance portfolio because it is the only department identified by Zuma’s followers as being “problematic”.

Andre Duvenhage, professor at the Potchefstroom campus of North-West University, has warned that if Zuma removed Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and replaced him with Molefe – as is likely – then he would open a can of worms within the ANC.

“It is clear that Zuma is fighting back by appointing Molefe. The tactical move will be in the Cabinet and Cabinet reshuffle. But Zuma must expect a big fight; this is a test for him,” Duvenhage said.

Duvenhage agreed Molefe was destined for the portfolio of minister of finance.

“It would be interesting to see how Cabinet is going to react to Zuma’s decision if he appoints Molefe. There might be a backlash from within the Cabinet, as some previously voiced their opposition to any move to remove Gordhan.”

On Twitter at the weekend, Environmental Affairs and Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom reiterated his support for Gordhan.

“We are fully behind our Minister of Finance. He was appointed by President Zuma himself and doing an excellent job!” Hanekom said.