Mopani ANC factions accuse each other of buying votes

Pule Shayi topples chairperson Seaparo Sekoati.

AKANI MANGENA

SENIOR ANC leaders in the Mopani region of Limpopo have accused each other of using money to buy votes. This follows the hotly contested conference which elected Ba-Phalaborwa Mayor Pule Shayi as regional chairperson over the weekend.

Re-elected regional secretary Bisikopo Makamu, who is Shayi’s close confidant, claimed that former Mopani deputy secretary Wireless Sedibeng had tried to bribe some delegates with cash to vote for his group led by toppled chairperson Seaparo Sekoati, allegations Sedibeng denied.

VICTORIOUS: Newly-elected Mopani ANC chairperson Pule Shayi. Photo: Visual Buzz SA.

Shayi defeated Sekoati by 24 votes at the conference held in Tzaneen. He received 155 to Sekoati’s 131, in a vote which dashed the hopes of those who wanted Limpopo to go to the ANC national conference in December as a united block behind a single candidate. Shayi and Limpopo Provincial Secretary Nocks Seabi support Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma for the ANC presidency.

Sekoati and Provincial Chairperson Stan Mathabatha have thrown their weight behind Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. Speaking to African Times after the conference, Makamu said some delegates told him that Sedibeng had offered them R5000 reach in exchange for their votes.

“The delegates confirmed it that he was giving them money and as such, we believe that Sedibeng needs political education to stop such conducts so that his tendencies do not spread across branches.” Makamu said.

Sedibeng hit back and accused Makamu of being the one who bought delegates with cash and promises of municipal jobs and tenders. He said Makamu and his group turned the conference into their cash making scheme.

“The people who tell you such things, mostly during the conference they hunt for money. I have never given any person money,” Sedibeng said.“They were doing it themselves. People went all out promising people jobs, tenders and whatever but they just come and accuse others. The same people were promising people jobs, saying they have powers in the municipalities and can do as they want.”

Meanwhile Makamu said his leadership collective will prioritise service delivery, job creation, party discipline and transformation in its three-year term. It will also fight factionalism and the use of money to buy votes, he said.

“Of course it’s poor service delivery, but also [fight] negative tendencies, the practice of using money to buy votes, factionalism and tribalism. All these negative tendencies must be confronted and be rooted out so that we can have an organisation that we aspired to have when it was established in 1912,” Makamu added.

He said Sekoati’s supporters have accepted the results, and “we agreed all of us that nobody will challenge the results through the court of law”.

The regional conference did not pronounce on preferred leaders for the ANC presidency, Makamu said, leaving it to the branches.

Sekoati said that the outcomes proved that the People of Mopani had the power to exercise their options in choosing their preferred leadership.

The Economic Development MEC said he was more than willing to work for the ANC despite his defeat.

“The conference was successfully held and it has produced whatever the outcomes. The struggle continues and I still remain the active member in Phalaborwa Sub-region” Sekoati said. The conference also elected ANC Women’s League regional chairperson Violent Mathye as Shayi’s deputy and Makamu as secretary.

Letaba Mayor Peter Matlou as deputy secretary and Mopani District Mayor Nkakareng Rakgoale as treasurer.

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