Deputy President David Mabuza. File photo
Image: VATHISWA RUSELO

A group of senior ANC politicians in Mpumalanga are planning to stage an "ambush march" to ANC headquarters in Johannesburg on Monday to demand the disbandment of the provincial executive committee‚ which they accuse of being micromanaged by ANC deputy president David Mabuza.

The race to replace Mabuza as provincial chairman in Mpumalanga is heating up. A number of front-runners have been cited‚ including acting provincial chairman Mandla Ndlovu‚ Peter Nyoni‚ Fish Mahlalela‚ David Dube and Charles Makola.

Some individuals believe the race will not be fair play‚ claiming Mabuza has "anointed" Ndlovu to take over the reins.

Mabuza in February said of Ndlovu: "I think I taught him what is right and wrong. He's a humble man [who] can [fit] in my shoes and even take my shoes."

Those vying for the ANC provincial top job allege that Ndlovu's brief from his predecessor is to maintain the manipulation of branches and the creation of "bogus" branches they claim Mabuza created‚ leading to the "surprise" ballooning of the province's membership to become second-biggest in the country.

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has written to the PEC‚ instructing them to facilitate the "amalgamation of branches".

Those calling for the PEC to be disbanded claim that the Magashule move is an attempt to correct the bogus branches.

According to them‚ under Mabuza's chairmanship‚ several bogus branches were created in contravention of the ANC constitution that only one branch per ward shall have executive authority.

The aggrieved parties further claim that Mabuza's plan does not only end with the backing of Ndlovu but that he also wants Pat Ngomane to become provincial secretary.

Mabuza's spokesman Thami Ngwenya said the deputy president had no role in whatever was happening in Mpumalanga.

"The attempt of drawing the deputy president back into provincial politics is regrettable as he does not hold any leadership position in Mpumalanga‚" he said.

The aggrieved grouping say their concern is affirmed by Magashule's letter to the Mpumalanga PEC‚ dated August 8‚ in which he called for the merging of branches to be in line with demarcations to "build coherence around our organisational systems‚ so that we can minimise disputes and encourage participation by ANC members in a free and fair environment".

Magashule singles out more than 70 branches that must convene branch general meetings and annual general meetings. But the aggrieved group say the PEC has deliberately not moved to implement this as it does not favour their objectives.

"On Monday we are marching to Luthuli House. We want the PEC to be disbanded and a PTT (provincial task team) to be installed because it is not working for members of the ANC but their handler who is the current deputy president who wants to manage them so it can serve him during list processes‚" said the march organiser‚ who manages the campaign of one of the chairmanship contenders.

"In Mpumalanga we are told we are going for the PGC on September 14 but when BGMs have not started ... Moreover‚ there will be complaints and disputes‚ which is a process on its own that will not take you less than two weeks. That is what we will be demanding in our ambush march and the top officials will be meeting there as they do every Monday."

Ndlovu was available for comment.