THE dispute between ANC presidential hopeful Mathews Phosa and the leadership of the ANC in Mpumalanga hit rock bottom yesterday with Phosa pressing ahead with legal action. Phosa’s move had however met resistance, with the provincial leadership putting up a defiant front.
This after the Mpumalanga provincial general council (PGC) saw at least 223 delegates vote for “unity” in branch nominations last week. Phosa accused Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza of “speaking with a forked tongue by preaching unity while deepening divisions” in the ANC. Phosa’s provincial campaign co-cordinator Ronnie Malomane said Phosa will petition the high court in Johannesburg to challenge the outcomes of the Mpumalanga PGC.
“I think somebody lacks certain things in his mind because when you are talking about unity, you are talking about two different things which needed to be united or amalgamated in order to make one,” Malomane said.
Despite the ambiguity over whom the “unity” votes favoured, former AU Commission chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma scored at least 123 nominations to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s 117. Malomane slammed Mabuza for sitting on the fence on who to support in the ANC presidential race. He insisted that the unity votes were indicative of Mabuza’s interests for selfpreservation.
“Then this person, you can’t find him in this side or that side. He’s neutral, but at the same time he’s preaching that there is unity,” he said However, ANC provincial spokesperson Sasekani Manzini said ANC branches will put a face to the unity votes when the time was right.
“Branches will do it. They’ll put a name when the time is right. If anyone is not satisfied, they must direct it to the branches, not anyone else. “Unity is unity, we will not respond to what people are saying. It’s not what we have said, it’s what the branches are saying,” Manzini said.
The ANC’ second biggest province, which will be sending a 736-strong delegation to the ANC’s 54th elective conference is a highly sought after voting bloc among Dlamini Zuma and Ramaphosa lobbyists. Manzini insisted that the leadership in the province would not dignify Phosa’s court bid his legal bid with a response. “We are not going to comment, we will wait for the formal processes to unfold,” she said.