Phumulo Masualle. Picture: DAILY DISPATCH
Phumulo Masualle. Picture: DAILY DISPATCH

The future of Eastern Cape premier Phumulo Masualle hangs in the balance as the party in the province gears up to reshuffle the provincial cabinet.

On Monday next week‚ the party’s provincial executive committee (PEC) will meet, and it is expected that Masualle’s future will feature prominently in the discussions.

A PEC member said that committee members were anxious about the matter and the meeting would guide to how the province’s number one would exit.

"Hopefully we will finalise this thing on Monday. We are also glad that it seems like even the national officials‚ which are the final arbiters and have the deciding vote‚ have considered the matter and are on our side‚" the PEC member said.

Provincial secretary Lulama Ngcukaitobi confirmed the meeting‚ but when asked about the discussions on Masualle‚ he was mum‚ saying "it is not the intention" to discuss his future.

It is touted that Masualle will be replaced by former premier and current speaker of the provincial legislature Noxolo Kiviet.

Kiviet served as the province’s premier from 2009 to 2014. Masualle took over from her‚ and would be finishing his term in 2019. Masualle contested the much-publicised Eastern Cape elective congress late in 2017‚ but lost to his then provincial secretary Oscar Mabuyane.

The conference’s outcomes were challenged after violence broke out between the two factions‚ injuring many.

A task team led by ANC national executive committee member Sbu Ndebele was sent to the province to investigate what led to the fight. However, Ndebele said last week that the final report on the probe would not have any bearing on the outcomes of the conference.

"Ours is to say that there shouldn’t have been that kind of violence in an ANC conference; ours is to say what happened in the Eastern Cape and what led to that violence, [and how the ANC can] organise itself so that those scenes never happen again‚" Ndebele said.

He said the probe was instituted to establish the precautions the ANC needs to take. Ndebele said the Eastern Cape incident was not an isolated incident.