Internal ANC contestations for the position of provincial secretary of the party in the Eastern Cape have reached boiling point, with talk of frontrunner Andile Lungisa losing the support of the old guard.
The former ANC Youth League deputy president is among candidates being “discussed” for the critical party position on the slate of premier Phumulo Masualle’s campaign for a third term as provincial chairman.
Masualle will be taking on Oscar Mabuyane for the top position.
But Lungisa has rubbished claims that he is losing support within the Masualle lobby group, saying the final decision on the post rested with the ANC branches.
According to lobbyists within the Masualle camp, the rise of Ten-Ten Pikinini’s name for the provincial secretary position is posing a serious challenge to the ambitions of Lungisa, who for long has not had a serious challenger within the Masualle group.
Joe Gabi district municipality’s Zolile Williams is also in the mix within this slate.
A highly-placed insider close to the developments in the Masualle camp told the Dispatch there was growing unhappiness over Lungisa’s candidacy, especially among the old guard, with some believing that his association with the “Premier League” is too close for comfort.
The source said if Lungisa failed in his bid to get the post it would be because “he is a key man in this thing of the Premier League”. The Premier League is a term used in reference to a national ANC lobby group comprising the party’s provincial chairmen in North West, Free State and KwaZulu-Natal, which is lobbying for Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to succeed her former husband, President Jacob Zuma, come the ANC elective conference in December.
“It is now clear that the mission of the Premier League, through fielding Lungisa, is to capture the secretariat office so that their influence in the province can be greater,” said the source.
Lungisa said there was no such thing as the “Premier League” in the ANC and that mingling and engaging beyond tribal lines was his political mantra.
“I do not even know who the Premier League is. Throughout our lives in the liberation movement we have interacted across the tribes because we have participated all over the country from a young age. So we are not fooled by provinces which are a temporal arrangement as part of negotiation. In the ANC we have fought against regionalism and tribalism,” said Lungisa.
“On the issue of my name, it is the branches who elect, therefore the issues of names resides with them; they are better positioned to talk on this matter.”
Lungisa was supported by another lobbyist sympathetic to his provincial slate, ANC MPL Michael Peter, who said Lungisa’s name was worth being discussed among those considered for the post. — firstname.lastname@example.org