An ANC member who was on the party’s list of candidates for Parliament but was mysteriously removed is headed to the courts to contest her exclusion.
Ponani Makhubele, from Limpopo, has rejected the changes made to the list submitted to the independent electoral commission (IEC) by ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule.
The move comes at a time when there are deep divisions about the list because of the inclusion of several controversial names of people tainted by scandals.
There have been claims in ANC circles that Magashule manipulated the party’s election list. However, Luthuli House has said that the list process was “democratic and transparent and complied with all relevant rules and regulations of the electoral commission”.
In a six-page letter to Luthuli House, which City Press has seen, Makhubele said she was a victim of factional battles in Limpopo.
“I strongly feel victimised. I am a woman with no factional backing. I do not have hope and trust in the provincial executive committee of ANC Limpopo, specifically because the deputy secretary was the regional secretary when my name was removed during the 2016 local government elections and has never responded to efforts I have made to seek justice. I am not surprised that, even now, no matter how the secretariat may differ if they do, when it comes to my name they agree.
“I have already lodged a dispute with regard to the removal of my name from the list submitted by Limpopo as well as against the final list submitted by the ANC to the IEC recently.”
Makhubele, a former Greater Giyani municipality councillor, was at the forefront of the protests demanding the resignation of ANC deputy provincial chairperson Florence Radzilani and treasurer Danny Msiza.
The two leaders are among individuals implicated in the VBS Mutual Bank scandal.
She has blamed her removal from the list on the battle for the control of the party in the province between two factions – one led by provincial secretary Soviet Lekganyane and the other by deputy provincial secretary Basikopo Makamu.
Lekganyane is seen as a strong backer of premier and provincial chairperson Stanley Mathabatha and President Cyril Ramaphosa, while Makamu is said to be close with Msiza and Magashule.
“I am a victim of these two factions. I have realised there is a power struggle between them. Neither of them trusts me. They are not sure whether I am with them or not. I am not going to submit to that,” a visibly annoyed Makhubele told City Press on Friday.
Lekganyane said the ANC had to intervene to ensure that the list had youth, minority and alliance partner representation.
“There is nothing wrong. The ANC handled the list in terms of the guidelines it has passed. The ANC satisfied itself that the guidelines have been properly implemented to ensure that every criteria on the guidelines is complied with.”
In the letter, Makhubele argues that the ANC in Limpopo removed 95% of ANC members elected by branches and replaced them with the new names.
“I have been democratically elected by the branches and the PEC collective as per guidelines. A list which had my name in the top 13 within the 19 names that fall in the reserved list was adopted. While other provinces released outcomes of list conferences, Limpopo did not. Those of us who happen to known saw them by chance and information sharing with other leaders who serve in the provincial working committee. People who did not make it to the list are topping the list.”
The letter states that Makhubele signed an acceptance form from the IEC in Bolivia lodge in Polokwane last month.
“I was surprised when the list on the website did not have my name. What hurts most is the fact that I have been assured that my disputes were resolved by the office of the SG and provincial office.”
In the letter, Makhubele said, she went through the vetting process.
“I have a clean record and I have never been accused of corruption or anything that may compromise the integrity of the organisation.”
ANC provincial spokesperson Donald Selamolela said the party had done everything to ensure that the list process was fair and square.
“If indeed she was on the list and she is no longer there, there may be a reason. The list was subjected to internal processes.”
Acting ANC spokesperson Dakota Legoete could not be reached for comment.