Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha is expected to wield the axe this month and reshuffle his cabinet. The imminent reshuffling comes after Mathabatha’s allies, who were elected at the party’s provincial elective conference last month, allegedly told him at a recent provincial executive committee (PEC) meeting to fast-track the move.
The matter was also allegedly re-emphasised at the PEC meeting held at The Park, in Mokopane outside Polokwane yesterday.
At the elective conference last month, Mathabatha’s supporters – Florence Radzilani, Soviet Lekganyane, Danny Msiza and Baisekopo Makamu – were elected into the party’s top five, along with former party deputy provincial chairman and secretary Dickson Masemola.
The Citizen was told yesterday that several PEC members, who served under Mathale, were upset at being out in the cold, and wanted to be deployed in government.
The members allegedly argued that it was time for those who did not support his candidature for a second term, and who opposed President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Nasrec elective conference, to be recalled in favour of those who supported them.
Last week several MECs who supported now Minister in the Presidency Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to be the party’s president at Nasrec told The Citizen they were gripped by fear of being fired by Mathabatha.
The MECs, who spoke anonymously, said they became even more frustrated after Mathabatha appointed some of his coterie into his cabinet soon after he returned from an investment trip to China.
Mathabatha appointed Thandi Moraka as MEC responsible for sport, arts and culture and ANC deputy provincial secretary Baisikop Makamu as the new MEC for agriculture and land reform.
Makamu replaced Joyce Mashamba, who died recently, while Moraka replaced former MEC Onicca Moloi a fortnight ago.
“We have known since the conference that we are facing the chop,” said one of the MECs, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of victimisation.
Another MEC who was part of the meeting described Mathabatha as a fine leader who did not hold grudges.
“He is good at heart in that he can’t even hurt a fly. I think he will mix both those who supported his principal [Ramaphosa] going to Nasrec, and those who spoke a different political language, just like Ramaphosa did,” he said.
Approached for comment, the ANC in the province said whoever Mathabatha wanted to appoint into his cabinet remained his choice.
Mathabatha’s spokesperson, Kenny Mathivha, said the premier was highly pressed with vital issues and a reshuffle was the last thing on his mind.