David Mabuza. Picture: SOWETAN
David Mabuza. Picture: SOWETAN

Yet another provincial leadership tussle is brewing in the ANC — this time in Mpumalanga, where jostling for former chairman David Mabuza’s position is taking place.

There is still no certainty when the provincial general council will convene to replace Mabuza after his elevation to party deputy president. The council will decide whether to fill the vacancies left by Mabuza’s departure.

Like KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State, Mpumalanga could be facing a legal challenge over ghost branches and local government redeployments.

ANC structures have been in turmoil since the December conference. A special national executive committee meeting has been pencilled in for this weekend to discuss the fate of leadership structures in the Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and the North West. The situation in the Eastern Cape is also expected to be raised as its conference was also disputed.

Mpumalanga provincial secretary Mandla Ndlovu took on the position of acting chairman after Mabuza’s departure.

Ndlovu said the provincial general council would be held "very soon" and would decide whether to fill the vacancies. He said Mpumalanga would hold its elective conference in 2019.

In May, a disgruntled group was reportedly threatening to go to court and was asking the ANC’s national leadership to disband the provincial executive committee and hold a provincial general council to elect new leaders. Ndlovu said there had been no court challenges as yet.

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule wrote to provincial secretaries and co-ordinators in May calling on provinces to ensure they hold elective conferences no later than May 31 2018 so the party could focus on its 2019 election campaign.

According to Magashule’s letter, Mpumalanga was told to convene a provincial general council to fill the vacancies in its leadership. Ndlovu is expected to take over Mabuza’s position should the provincial general council decide to fill the post. Pat Ngomane is expected to replace Ndlovu as secretary.

While Ndlovu was a staunch ally of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, it is understood that he complied with instructions from Mabuza during the ANC conference to switch to Cyril Ramaphosa’s side, which helped secure the president’s victory in December.

With Natasha Marrian