News / South Africa

Alex Japho Matlala
2 minute read
29 Aug 2017
6:00 am

Limpopo ANC says no to ‘tribalism’ within the party

Alex Japho Matlala

Provincial chairperson says tribalism within the ranks of the party is dividing the movement.

The ANC is a nontribal organisation,says Limpopo premier and ANC provincial chairperson Stan Mathabatha.

Introducing Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa at a Cosatu workers’ rally in Seshego on Sunday, he added: “The ANC does not belong to a particular province or family. It belongs to us all.”

He was applauded by people in a packed stadium when he said the ANC had not had a president from Limpopo since 1917, when Sefako Makgatho held the position. The inference was the time is ripe for Ramaphosa, who is from Limpopo, to lead the party.

Mathabatha, who has been linked to Ramaphosa’s lobby group, CR-17, said tribalism within the ranks of the ANC was dividing the movement. Political analyst Professor Lesiba Tefo agreed with Mathabatha’s assertion that tribalism was a new phenomenon in the ANC.

“I think Mathabatha is just saying the ANC must be careful of tribalism, which has seen other presidents in some African countries wanting their sons, wives or relatives to succeed them when their term of office expires.

“It is, therefore, not logical for President Jacob Zuma to advocate his former wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, to succeed him in December, because that would be tantamount to tribalism and nepotism.”

In 2012, the ANC in Limpopo compiled a document opposing tribalism within the party. The paper claimed tribalism was rearing its head within the movement.

The document, which formed part of the discussion at the party’s Mangaung elective conference, said tribalism was at play in ANC elective conferences, branches, communities and at the workplace.

The document was compiled by the Mopani regional leadership of the ANC under the stewardship of Joshua Matlou. Matlou, who is also former Limpopo ANC Youth League provincial chairperson, inherited three former bantustans: Gazankulu which was for Tsonga-speaking people, Venda for the Venda speakers and Lebowa for Pedi-speaking people. –