Infighting rocks SA’s newest political party


The newly established Christian Political Movement (CPM) may be facing revolt from within.
In a sign that all is not well, secretary-general Thenjwa Sellem tendered his resignation at the weekend but six hours later retracted it. In the letter, seen by the Daily Dispatch, Sellem told party president Brian Lonwabo Mahlati of ill-treatment from the party’s leadership.
“My intentions have always been the building of the CPM into a giant political organisation in South Africa. CPM members have expressed their inconvenience with the office of the SG on many occasions.
“[CPM leaders] have taken this inconvenience to a degree that no leader could tolerate. It [is] beyond my patience,” the letter reads.
He wrote he had been in “conflict” with CPM members and had been insulted by some. He also claimed that he was given the cold shoulder by his co-founder Mahlati.
“I hope and pray that the CPM shall fulfil its mandate in South Africa. Today, I even experienced the coldest shoulder of my honourable president,” Sellem wrote.
Commenting on the upheaval, the party’s deputy SG, Sinethemba Makhasi, said Sellem had resigned for personal reasons as well as his overwhelming work schedule.
“However, the decision was not accepted by the NEC structure, therefore he is still the secretary-general of the party,” Makhasi said.
However, on Thursday Sellem told the Dispatch that after party leaders had spoken to him and persuaded him to return to the party, he reconsidered, forgave them and returned to his post.
“I am a Christian so I do forgive. I made peace with my party. I am back to the party as the SG,” he said.
Last month the Dispatch reported on the establishment of the church-based party established by Mahlati.He is the founder of the Mdantsane-based New Life Family Bible Church. The party was set up by a group of pastors and leaders from a range of churches and ministries.In an interview with the Dispatch last month, Mahlati said the party was the “Joshua generation”.“We are the generation that is going to take the people of South Africa to the promised land. We are not fighting with anyone. We say it’s fine what other people do, but now from here moving forward to the promised land and the land flowing with milk and honey, that is our responsibility.”

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