Former Limpopo ANC deputy provincial chairperson and Vhembe District Municipality executive Mayor Florence Radzilani is tipped to become the first female premier in Limpopo.
She has allegedly been touted in party caucuses across the northern province to become premier after the May 8 polls since the ANC candidate list was published last week.
Radzilani is at No 7 on the list, although her competition includes speaker of the Limpopo legislature Polly Boshielo and Mopani District executive mayor Nkakareng Rakgoale, who are fourth and sixth respectively.
Radzilani’s political adviser told The Citizen she has what it takes.
The province has had four male premiers since 2014 – Ngoako Ramatlhodi, followed by Sello Moloto, Cassel Mathale and Stanley Mathabatha.
Some ANC branches believe it is time for the province to have its first female premier.
“Radzilani is a rare political breed, with impeccable credentials,” said an ANC branch member in the Vhembe region yesterday. “The ANC in Limpopo requires a woman of her adrenaline to lead the province now and post the May 8 polls.
“Besides, the poor woman was cleared of any wrongdoing by the forensic investigations [in the VBS bank scandal].
“Let’s stop politicking. If anyone knows anything wrong that Radzilani did, may that person raise a hand.”
Radzilani’s phone went unanswered yesterday.
Her political resurrection comes after she was entangled in the VBS scandal for allegedly accepting a “Christmas bribe”, amounting to R300,000, from bank shareholders.
Yesterday, Mathabatha’s spokesperson and Limpopo provincial government acting spokesperson Kenny Mathivha said Mathabatha was not going anywhere.
Mathivha said Mathabatha still harboured ambitions of remaining premier of Limpopo.
“The only household name we have currently to be the premier of the province is Mathabatha.
“Other names are jolted around for poor politicking. I can assure you today Matlala, comrade Stan, will be Limpopo premier, even after the May 8 polls,” said Mathivha.
The ANC’s Peter Mokaba regional chairperson and Capricorn District Municipality executive mayor John Mpe said his region was 100% behind Mathabatha in his bid to remain premier.
The ANC in Limpopo said it would support any name punted by the ANC branches.
“We are not aware of any [person] harbouring ambitions to topple Mathabatha,” said ANC provincial spokesperson Donald Selamolela.