Pretoria - VBS Mutual Bank accused Danny Msiza has been tipped to be the next Limpopo ANC secretary ahead of its elective conference expected to take place in March.
The Peter Mokaba Region, the most influential in the province, has put the party’s embattled provincial treasurer forward for the position of secretary, leaving incumbent Soviet Lekganyane out in the cold.
Msiza stepped aside from all political duties after he was indicted by the National Prosecuting Authority, charged with racketeering, theft, fraud and money laundering.
He is due to go on trial next month for his role in the loss of about R2.3 billion of the now defunct VBS Bank.
Msiza is among people facing 180 counts for allegedly looting money belonging to mostly the poor in the Vhembe district and municipalities.
However, speaking exclusively to Pretoria News yesterday, the Peter Mokaba Region chairperson and executive mayor of Polokwane, John Mpe, said they preferred Msiza as provincial secretary because the step-aside rule did not stop anyone from being elected or electing.
“Danny (Msiza) remains an ANC member in good standing. He had to step aside pending the outcome of the process undertaken now but he’s still eligible to stand.
“The right to elect and be elected has not been (revoked) by any conference. So if he goes through that process he will still have to step aside after being elected, if he gets elected. But he has the right to get elected because he will be a delegate with voting rights.”
Mpe and his region have also endorsed current provincial chairperson and Premier Stan Mathabatha to continue come March, despite Mathabatha having announced that he would not be available.
“We are lobbying the current chairperson (Mathabatha) because we want Limpopo to go intact to the national conference. Mathabatha has been the glue that has held us together. If the province does not go to the national conference intact we might not have our views prevailing.”
Mpe hinted that Mathabatha’s name would be forwarded in the top six during the party’s 55th national conference due in December.
“The chairperson will continue for a few months depending on whether he is propelled to the national leadership at the national conference,” Mpe said.
Provincial secretary Soviet Lekganyane, seen as an ally to party leader and State President Cyril Ramaphosa, said everybody had a right to nominate their preferences.
“I have always said that if l go to the conference of the ANC without being elected I will not regret.
“If anybody wants to nominate me, I’ll encourage them not to hastily nominate people … ”
He said the party needed to self-introspect before choosing leaders. “The ANC must do self-characterisation first. I have been elected since 2008, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if I get elected again.”
However, Lekganyane did concede that the provincial conference might not take place in March. “The party has just had an NEC meeting. We are awaiting a statement as to how to move on because many regions have not sat yet.”
Limpopo comprises five regions – Norman Mashabane, Vhembe, Sekhukhune, Peter Mokaba and Waterberg. All but Waterberg have concluded their conferences.