A new entrant in the race for ANC Mpumalanga leadership, David Dube, says his group’s campaign is not about occupying leadership positions, but rebuilding a divided ANC and delivering services.
Dube was provincial ANC deputy chairperson from 2012 to 2015, working closely with Deputy President David Mabuza, who was chairperson and Mpumalanga premier.
Dube recently wrote a book titled Al Capones of Mpumalanga, in which he exposes how factionalism, gate-keeping, manipulation of branches and corruption ravaged the ANC in the province under Mabuza’s decade-long leadership.
Dube is seen as an independent candidate who is unlikely to be remote-controlled, since he broke ranks with Mabuza.
Other contenders – Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane and Mandla Ndlovu – have been largely seen as Mabuza’s extensions, prone to his influence and likely to continue his legacy.
Ndlovu is, however, now believed to have support from ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, and is seen as distancing himself from Mabuza. Ndlovu has rejected both claims.
Dube was part of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s CR17 campaign group, but claims that he is running a campaign that does not ride on the president’s support.
We wonder where the other people get their money and what message are they sending to the communities because this money should be directed towards alleviating poverty
Until recently, the contest was seen as a duel between Mtshweni-Tsipane and Ndlovu, the current acting provincial ANC chairperson.
Dube’s team announced his availability this week. His announcement comes a few months after the other factions launched their campaigns, which have since gained massive momentum in all the regions.
A view from Dube’s lobby group is that their rivals are using state and ANC resources for their campaigns.
“We run our campaign from our own pockets. We don’t have money [but] we’re happy that we’re doing everything by the book. We wonder where the other people get their money and what message are they sending to the communities because this money should be directed towards alleviating poverty,” he said.
Dube said it was time that Mpumalanga ANC members became free and created a stable organisation.
“The organisation is divided and depleted. We need a stable organisation that will make it easy for a stable government that is not micro-managed. Currently, the government is not monitored by the ANC because of the state the organisation is in.”
He said the youth in the ANC should be channelled to education instead of being used for factional political battles, and that government institutions such as municipalities must be strengthened to provide services.
“The youth must be helped to develop themselves. Look at the case of [Justice and Correctional Services Minister] Ronald Lamola, he became what he is because he was resilient. Had he focused on fighting factional battles for old members he would not be where he is today.
READ: Mabuza is the ‘Al Capone’of Mpumalanga – former ally Dube
“When it comes to governance, our institutions are failing to provide services. We’re contaminating that space ... Oversight is lacking and the levels of corruption are very high,” he said.
If he wins, Dube said his team would clean up government institutions, particularly focusing on doing away with the awarding of tenders to the same individuals.
He would also tackle unresolved political killings in the province.
“The other lobby teams talk only about leadership. This kind of campaigning is hurting the organisation more and dividing communities. Conferences should not be about leadership, they should be about providing services to the communities.”
Dube’s slate brings back former deputy chairperson Charles Makola, who served under Mabuza from 2008 to 2012, as deputy chairperson; MP and former City of Mbombela mayor Cathy Dlamini as deputy secretary; former Albert Luthuli municipal manager Dumisa Mango as secretary; and MP Mmusi Skhosana as treasurer.
The ANC Mpumalanga conference is scheduled to take place in March, but there is a feeling that it might have to be postponed because the organisation is not yet ready.
Since Mabuza was elected deputy president in 2018, the province has failed to convene a provincial general council to replace him and former deputy chairperson Violet Siwela.