A faction aligned to President Cyril Ramaphosa is allegedly hatching a plot to topple Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha before his term lapses.
An apparently clandestine meeting held at a farm outside Marblehall recently has allegedly resolved to vigorously campaign in ANC branches to oust Mathabatha – both as Limpopo premier and party provincial chairman.
Mathabatha is currently serving his second term as provincial chairperson and premier. He was elected on 14 February 2014 and 22 June 2018 respectively. His political term lapses in June 2022 when the ruling party elects new leaders to lead for the next four years.
But two years before the next elective conference, his political foes in the province have allegedly begun to hatch a plot to topple him. The alleged secret meeting was held days after the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) took a decision to reinstate two Limpopo bigwigs, Florence Radzilani and Danny Msiza, to their positions as deputy provincial secretary and treasurer.
The two leaders were asked to step aside by the NEC after they were implicated in Advocate Terry Motau’s Great Bank Heist report for “looting and collapsing” VBS Mutual Bank. According to Collins Chabane ANC Youth League sub-region in Vhembe, the meeting was held at around 6pm on 16 July at a farm outside Marblehall.
League sub-regional chairperson Victor Balayi claimed some of the party bigwigs who attended the meeting included a national minister and a deputy minister, who are also members of the ANC NEC, one MEC from Mathabatha’s Cabinet and a member of the ANC Limpopo provincial executive (PEC).
Two PEC members and one regional leader who spoke to The Citizen, confirmed the names and that such a meeting took place.
But Baloyi defended Mathabatha.
“To us, Mathabatha is like Moses, who delivered his people from the hands of bondage in Egypt to the promised land of milk and honey in Canaan,” he said. “He is like a hardened glue that binds the ANC. His leadership style, his transparency and perseverance have undoubtedly united the already torn apart ANC in Limpopo, which was left bleeding. So, whoever is fighting Mathabatha, will rue the day he joined the ANC because we are prepared to fight with everything we have until the last drop of our blood.”
Baloyi said part of the resolutions of that overnight meeting was to discuss a fightback strategy that involves using state powers to ensure that Radzilani and Msiza were arrested for allegedly looting VBS Mutual Bank.
“But the plan failed dismally because we deployed some of our moles within the meeting to object to any decision that seems to destroy the organisation,” he said.
“The ANCYL in Collins Chabane wants to make it clear that all ANC leaders elected democratically will finish their terms, unless they are toppled by the same branches, which elected them.”
Mathabatha’s spokesperson Kenny Mathivha referred all queries to the ANC in the province. ANC provincial spokesperson Donald Selamolela said the party was aware of the allegations. But he branded them as only rumours whose sole aim is to tarnish the “glorious name” of the party and its leaders in the province.
“What we can tell you is that the ANC in the province is not divided and is speaking from the same page, politically. We can also assure you that all branches of the ANC are 100% behind Mathabatha, both as premier and party provincial chairperson.” he said.
“He has united the ANC since and continues to lead the provincial administration to greener pastures. There is no doubt that this is our leader and our shepherd and will lead until the last day of his term.”