NEWLY elected Limpopo EFF chairperson Jossey Buthane vowed to lead his party’s fight against corruption in the province with a view to toppling the ANC from power after next year’s general elections.
He says the red berets will work hard to deny the ruling party an outright majority with a view to forcing a coalition government in Limpopo.
In a telephonic interview with African Times on Tuesday night – after being elected to the party’s top post in the province at a Provincial People’s Assembly in Tzaneen at the weekend – Buthane again accused Premier Stan Mathabatha of at best failing to act against corruption in his administration and at worst of protecting corrupt officials and members of his executive.
He singled out Limpopo Social Development MEC Mapula Mokaba-Phukwana, former Sports MEC Onicca Moloi and the Chief Financial Officer of the provincial Health Departmental, Justice Mudau, for attention.
“Ours is to fight corruption and win the 2019 elections and if that becomes difficult we would have to fight to reduce the ANC’s electorate to less than 50%. We are going to fight for those who are without shelter because their money is getting returned to the national treasury every end of the financial year. We want to continue to fight for those who get assaulted and brutalised by white people in the farms mistaking them for baboons,” said a buoyant Buthane.
“We continue to fight against lazy public servants in particular in our hospitals where our patients go there to die as our hospitals are now some sort of second hand mortuaries. We want to continue to fight to get our land back as blacks and as South Africans in general.”
However, he would not say whether the EFF would consider going into a coalition with the ANC should that happen, saying “those strategic issues are issues of senior leadership. I don’t think I am equal to answering your question.”
Buthane said that the ANC protects all wrong-doing in the province in a bid to shield its leaders.
“What is wrong is that the Premier [Stan Mathabatha] knows about all wrong doing and does not take action particularly where there is corruption with evidence. There is poor service delivery and there are no consequences.
“There is the issue of the CFO [Chief Financial Officer] of health who gave an irregular tender to Mphefedzi laundry services and they are letting the main culprit go while they get junior officials take the blame for their corruption,” he said.
Buthane is referring to reports in recent months that the appointment of Mphefedzi Business Enterprises, which was contracted to render laundry services to 22 of the 42 hospitals in the province, was irregular according to a report by the Treasury.The Treasury report implicated, amongst other senior executives in the department, Musandiwa Justice Mudau, who is the CFO of the department and had appointed Mphefedzi.
“There is also the Mapungubwe money still missing, where there is still evidence of transactions in terms of bank statements but there was no action. The Vhembe District municipal manager assaulted workers and nothing happened.”
The former EFF provincial secretary has accused the law enforcements agencies of conniving with corrupt ANC elements.
“In all of these cases nothing has happened and we have opened cases. We have mentioned all these things and these are issues we will be fighting against because the people who are in charge of investigation and those who are in charge with arresting have taken a decision to sleep with these corrupt people but we will continue to ride and hope that we will reveal an answer one day. But all will not hide under water at some point it would have to come up,” said Buthane.
Buthane was elevated to the position of Provincial Chairperson as the EFF’s second PPA, which was also part of the red berets’ preparations for next year’s elections.
The first PPA was held in 2014, a year after the party was formed.
The EFF is the main opposition in Limpopo, the home province of its Commander in Chief Julius Malema.
The Assembly also elected George Raphela as provincial secretary, Cedric Seshoka as deputy chairperson, Charles Mohlala as deputy secretary and Tinyiko Manganyi as treasurer.
Buthane said the challenges facing the EFF were nothing new.
“They have been existing even when I was secretary, and they will continue to exist. They don’t go away because I’m the chairperson and, remember, I don’t lead alone. We lead as a collective.
“Nothing has changed. We need to consolidate our weaknesses where they exist and proceed. We have learnt from the previous leadership under Rendani Munyai [Munyai was voted into the Provincial Command Team] and we need not disappoint her. We need to pick up the button and run with it in a manner that she would have run with.
“We are a party of five years and we are eating chunks from this elephant. We are cutting big chunks; so there is no way you will not feel pressure; but it’s not pressure that is challenging. It’s pressure that says keep working. It’s possible to collapse the elephant,” said Buthane.