Dlamini-Zuma wins big support in Limpopo’s most powerful and biggest region

Regional Secretary, Baisekopo Makamo (right) and MEC for Co-Operative Governance, Makoma Makhurupetje, in a jovial mood after the conference.

LIMPOPO –  Not only did Dlamini-Zuma’s supporters win Limpopo’s most powerful and biggest region, but her foot soldier and chief lobbyist, Makoma Makhurupetje, stands a chance to win the Limpopo elective conference in February next year as party provincial chairperson and subsequently, the province’s first female premier.

You may also want to read: If Nkosazana wins in December, Zuma will go early – report

The win for Dlamini-Zuma has since propelled the beginning of a tussle for Limpopo’s next party provincial chairperson with current Premier, Stanley Mathabatha’s opponents plotting against him.

The newly elected Chairperson, Pule Shai, who will lead the region for the next three years, toppled Economic Development MEC, Seaparo Sekoati, with 155 to 131 votes, making him the most powerful person in Mopani’s five towns of Tzaneen, Giyani, Phalaborwa, Hoedspruit and Modjadjiskloof.

You may also want to read: Ramaphosa, Dlamini-Zuma tussle over Limpopo’s biggest region

Baisekopo Makamo with the new ANC Mopani Regional Chairperson, Pule Shai (in ANC regalia) who is entrusted to deliver Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to the ANC elective conference in December.

Violet Mathye was elected Deputy Regional Chairperson, Baisekopo Makamu was retained as Regional Secretary and Greater Letaba Municipality Mayor, Peter Matlou, was elected Deputy Secretary while former school teacher and political bigwig, Gerson Molapisane, was elected Treasurer.

“We will not make any pronouncements in terms of preferences for leadership of the ANC going into the December conference,” said the elated Shai during the acceptance speech at Karibu Lodge outside Tzaneen on Sunday.

“We will, however, go back to the branches, which is the core of power, and pronounce effectively when the time is ripe,” he said.

Matlou called for unity within the party cautioning delegates not to emulate what he called a foreign tendency of killing councillors and engaging in ongoing branch rifts like it is happening in KwaZulu-Natal.

A well-deserving applauded compromise was made during the elections when former Treasurer, Nkakareng Rakgoele, stepped down in an endeavour to give space for Makhurupetje’s lieutenant and confidant, Gerson Molapisane, to be elected as party regional treasurer.

“But the compromise does not shake or temper with Rakgoele being the district municipality’s Mayor. She will still remain in pole position and get the paramount support she deserves from the region and from Makhurupetje herself with the executive powers she has as MEC for Co-operative Governance, which oversees the day-to-day running of municipalities in Mopani and beyond the region’s borders,” said a close ally to Rakgoele at the conference.

Dlamini-Zuma’s penetration to Limpopo comes at a time the ANC Women’s League revealed its love for her to take up her rightful place in parliament as MP. The league made the call in March this year saying if appointed as MP, she would bring a wealth of experience into parliament.

A senior ANC bigwig told CV at the conference that Health Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Trade and Industry Minister, Rob Davis, Energy Minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi and Public Enterprise Minister, Lynne Brown, were among ministers likely to soon be axed by Zuma.

“Zuma will embark on a second cabinet reshuffling this year in what many believe is a ploy to blossom her presidential bid. The alleged forced resignation of ANC MP, Pule Mabe by the ANC’s top six brass last month and the resignation of former Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Mduduzi Manana over a storm in the light of assault scandals, had left an open space for new leaders to join parliament, hence Dlamini-Zuma’s eminent appointment. But looking at the bruising souring relationship Zuma has with Motsoaledi and Brown, one of them is likely to face the chop. Higher Education Minister, Blade Nzimande, is also not safe looking at the way in which the alliance partner, SACP, which he leads, has been vocal against him (Zuma),” said the source.

Dlamini-Zuma has previously served under both former presidents, Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki, as Minister of Health, Home Affairs and Foreign Affairs. Currently, Dlamini-Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa are leaders in a marathon to replace President Jacob Zuma at the party’s forthcoming elective conference in December.

The ANC Youth League and the Women’s League have already pronounced Dlamini-Zuma as their preferred candidate while the SACP and Cosatu put their weight behind Ramaphosa as their main man.

At the moment, there are eight ANC bigwigs who raised their hands for the ANC presidency. This includes former Mpumalanga Premier and ANC Treasurer, Mathews Phosa, Jeff Radebe, Baleka Mbete, Zweli Mkhize, Lindiwe Sisulu, David Mabuza and two front-runners, Ramaphosa and Dlamini-Zuma.

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Alex Matlala

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