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Top ANC heavyweight suspended & told to resign from duties

The ANC in Mpumalanga has suspended outspoken mayor Johan Mkhatshwa after he sparked controversy by refusing to give over the keys to another candidate. Mkhatshwa stunned the ANC when he rejected the results of the national executive committee's (NEC) interviewing process and accepted his nomination for a second term as mayor of Malelane's rural Nkomazi Local Municipality from a gang of renegade councillors.Johan Mkhatshwa was suspended after he refused to hand back the mayoral chain to the party’s preferred candidate. Photo: Supplied. Photo: Bulelwa Ginindza

The provincial executive committee (PEC) was anticipated to immediately remove Mkhatshwa and his council allies during Monday's meeting, instead he got what some may refer to as a slap on the wrist. Mpumalanga ANC acting secretary Lindiwe Ntshalintshali said that the PEC had suspended him. He was suspended and forced to quit as mayor until he attended his disciplinary hearing.

This implies that Mkhatshwa will remain a municipal backbencher until he is held accountable for his misbehavior. Mkhatshwa was not present at the PEC meeting, according to Ntshalintshali. Mkhashwa could not be contacted for comment on the recent events or if he would heed or continue to ignore the NEC's summons.See the source image

The NEC desired Phindile Magagula as mayor after her acclaim throughout the interviews, as well as Siphiwe Mashele as speaker. However, a source familiar with the interviewing process said that, despite coming in second place, Mkhatshwa and Magagula impressed and their performance was rated as "outstanding."

When the new council convened on November 23, Mkhatshwa and Mashele accepted their nominations and increased their vote totals with the assistance of the opposition. The PEC requested that Mkhatshwa resign, and he originally accepted, but then informed interim provincial chairman Mandla Ndlovu that his followers had advised him not to. Mkhatshwa ratcheted up his disobedience on Friday when he established his mayoral committee. Bandi Shongwe, an EFF councillor and regional secretary for Ehlanzeni, was named to the mayoral committee.See the source image

Mkhatshwa's move has set the stage for a bruising contest in Mpumalanga when the ANC convenes an elective provincial conference at the end of January.

Mkhatshwa is an associate of Ngrayi Ngwenya, the convenor of the suspended Ehlanzeni regional task committee. They are members of the Ngci group, which receives support from Deputy President David Mabuza. Ngci's hold over the province has weakened slightly. Ngwenya, who was formerly seen as untouchable, is now serving a five-year ban on misconduct charges stemming from his backing for former President Jacob Zuma as he faced incarceration for contempt of court. Mkhatshwa and Ngwenya are political allies.

Ngci is contesting the elective conference against the Focus group headed by interim chairman Ndlovu. At the moment, Focus looks to be the frontrunner. Since the local government elections, this group has exercised influence over the deployment of mayors and councillors in municipalities — an indication that they have wrested authority from Ngci.See the source image

Ntshalintshali said that heads will tumble in other municipalities, including Mkhondo (Piet Retief) and Thaba Chweu (Lydenburg), where councillors ignored the NEC as well. The renegades in Mkhondo campaigned for independent candidate Mthokozisi Simelane to become mayor. Mduduzi Dlamini of the African Transformation Movement was chosen Speaker, while Siphesihle Mkhwanazi of the EFF was elected council whip.

Mutineers in Thaba Chweu nominated Paul Mokgosinyana to succeed Fridah Nkadimeng, the NEC's favoured mayor. Nkadimeng narrowly won the vote, defeating Mokgosinyana by one vote.

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Mkhatshwa’s ANC membership suspended, told to step down as mayor | Citypress (news24.com)

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ANC Lindiwe Ntshalintshali Mkhatshwa Mpumalanga NEC

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