Anthony Benadie MPL
Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga
Mpumalanga’s darkest days lie ahead for the next five years should the ANC win the 2014 election.
A close look at the ANC’s provincial list shows how it completely disregarded the competency of candidates, populating their list for the Provincial Legislature with the weakest and most incompetent Members of the Executive Council (MECs), Member of the Provincial Legislature (MPLs) and inexperienced first timers to govern Mpumalanga, setting a cosy scene for Mabuza to be returned for a second term as premier of the province.
What is clear, that after 7 May, ANC benches will be stacked with Mabuza loyalists, who will serve at his mercy. He will face no dissent or challenge in the next term, from his political puppets and pawns, and undoubtedly the plundering of provincial resources and political patronage will escalate, as was so well illustrated by the premier’s R70 million expenditure on the Mandela memorials last year.
A basic online search of ANC candidates has revealed the corrupt and criminal in the ANC’s list, while some candidates are so unkown that even a Google search provided no substantive result:
- David Dube: Returning MPL and long standing Mbuza loyalist – Singlehandedly destroyed the province’s human settlement department while HOD, a department which could only build 23000 houses in the past five years. After Mabuza apparently “took decisive action” and “fired” Dube as HOD, he was “promoted” to MPL and Deputy Speaker. Undoubtedly an MEC in waiting.
- Andries Gamede: Returning MPL and Mabuza loyalist – Current human settlements MEC and former Gert Sibande district mayor. Has had no success in improving housing provision. Many houses built during his tenure are yet to be connected to water and sewer networks. Having been accused of nepotism when he appointed his wife as his spokesperson while district mayor, she ironically now serves as the Head of Communications in the Provincial Legislature.
- Vusi Shongwe: Returning MPL, Mabuza loyalist but certainly one-time wannabe premier – As safety and security MEC, Shongwe has carefully charted his way from one publicity stunt to the next. While constantly blurring the waters between his department and the SAPS, he has succeeded building his own private security force under the guise of the Mpumalanga Traffic Department. Under his tenure the so-called “Red berets” caused mayhem across the province by assaulting and terrorising motorists, with no consequence. He is yet to account for over R80 million generated through the dodgy TMT unmanned speed camera tender scam, while currently being embroiled by the GNT tender saga to provide security to senior politicians.
- Reginah Mhaule: Returning MPL and Mabuza loyalist, the MEC for education has had some success in improving the matric pass rate. While foundation and primary phase literacy and numeracy levels remain below the national standard, Mhaule has done little to improve the quality of learning in rural and township schools. The shortage of schools, lack of infrastructure, coupled with challenges brought on by poor performing district managers, circuit managers and principals remain a serious concern.
- Violet Siwela: Returning MPL and absolute Mabuza loyalist – Apparently rewarded with an appointment as MEC after securing Mabuza the support of ANC members from Bushbuckridge during the ANC’s last elective conference, this MEC has made no contribution whatsoever to the agriculture sector in our province. Emerging farmers still have no market access to sell products and she has made no contribution to provide stability and instil confidence in the agriculture sector. Of late, she has been accused of tender rigging, tribalism and racism having recently attacked the coloured community by saying ‘they don’t know their past, where they come from or know who their grandfathers are. Their existence is a direct consequence of Jan Van Riebeeck’s arrival in the Cape.’
- Blessing Shongwe: Returning MPL, Mabuza loyalist and desperate wannabe MEC, the current ANC Chief Whip has made a complete mockery of the democratic order of the legislature. She has failed to maintain a Whips Forum and her dictatorial style has completely ruined the spirit of cooperation and mutual respect among parties. Her close relationship with Mabuza has seen her actively undermining the office of the Speaker, resulting in much tension within the legislature
- Eric Kholwane: An ANC MP since 2004 and former chairperson of the public enterprises and safety and security portfolios. Currently serves as chairperson of communications portfolio. He was charged with rape in July of 2012 but later, charges were withdrawn.
- Nomsa Mtsweni: Returning MPL and Mabuza loyalist, she was deployed to be the chairperson of the Standing Committee of Public Accounts (SCOPA), in an attempt by Mabuza to silence the former SCOPA chairperson Fish Mahlalela. She has presided over the committee’s condonation of hundreds of millions in wasteful and irregular expenditure and turned the SCOPA into a toothless committee more determined to defend the executive than hold them to account.
- Nora Mahlangu: A first timer to the Legislature, she currently serves as councillor in the Thembisile Hani local municipality, and as the regional chairperson of the ANC Women’s League.
- SPD Skhosana: Returning MPL and Mabuza loyalist, as MEC for cooperative governance has presided idly over his department while municipality after municipality collapsed. Under the guise of section 139 interventions he has selectively placed municipalities under administration primarily aimed at settling Mabuza’s political scores. With few municipalities financially viable and most grant dependant, local government is in its worst state ever.
- Refilwe Maria Mtshweni: Returning MPL, and currently the deputy Chairperson of Chairpersons in the Legislature and the Chairperson of the Human Settlements portfolio committee, she had made little impact in promoting committee oversight over government
- Victor (VV) Windvoël: Returning MPL and definitely aspiring MEC, the former NCOP Chief Whip returned to the Mpumalanga Legislature in 2009. In 2005 Windvoël and other MPLs left the Legislature owing close to R1 million in travel trips never taken and overspending his cell phone allowance. In 1998 he was sentenced to one-year imprisonment or a R4 000 fine in the Malalane magistrate’s court on charges of drunken driving and resisting arrest. Despite his questionable past he has managed to charter his way back into an electable position.
- Basani Violet Nkuna: First timer, Bushbuckridge councillor, generally known.
- Petrus Simon Ngomane: First timer, generally unknown.
- Jeaneth Lizzy Nghondzweni: First timer, generally unknown.
- Johanne Musa Mkhatshwa: First timer, unknown.
- Patricia Ngobeni: Returning MPL, Mabuza loyalist and chairperson of the health and social development committee. She has positioned herself as a vocal defendant of Mabuza and may well be rewarded after 7 May, yet lacks the character and skill to lead a department.
- Gillion Pudumo Mashego: Undoubtedly the worst placement by the ANC. The chairperson of the ANC in the Bohlabela region and the former town manager of Pilgrim’s Rest, he contributed significantly to the collapse of this tourist town, was accused of being actively involved in the tender rigging resulting in the Pretoria High court interdict preventing the eviction of Pilgrim’s Rest tenants. He has also been accused of tender rigging and nepotism in Bushbuckridge and Thaba Chweu municipalities. In 2010 he was accused of getting rid of ANC cadres in opposition to him.
- Gabsile Cynthia Shabalala: First timer, generally unknown.
(Candidates 21 to 30: Unlikely to be elected)
- Sibusiso Innocent Malaza: First timer, generally unknown.
- Dumisile Goodness Nhlengethwa: Been a Member of Parliament since 1999 and is currently a member of the ANC Womens’ League. Currently serving as Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs at National Assembly, serves on the joint committee for Ethics and Members’ Interest and the Ad-Hoc Committee on 1913 Land Act.
- William Thulare Madibeng: First timer, generally unknown.
- Rhoda Sazi Mathabe: First timer, generally unknown.
- Bonakele Amos Majuba: Returning MPL, deputy chief whip of the ANC, provincial chairperson of the SACP and recent vocal opponent of Mabuza. His placement at position 25 indicates most clearly what happens to politicians in ANC circles who oppose Mabuza. Last year said the ANC were run by gangsters and he referred to ANC leaders in the province as “lumpen tenderpreneurs” and manipulating list processes. That saw him dropping from the top 10 on the 2009 list to 25 for 2014.
It is clear that Mabuza loyalty was a top criteria when the ANC considered its candidate lists. After 7 May, the legislature will lose some of the ANC’s most skilled and strong-willed politicians. The likes of current speaker William Lubisi, Fish Mahlalela, Madala Masuku, Yvonne Phosa, Clifford Mkasi, Meshack Malinga and JL Mahlangu will not return – their only sin being their opposition to Mabuza’s re-election in 2012.
Given the ANC list, there is no doubt that Mabuza will be the premier if the ANC wins, and how he will form a cabinet and how the ANC will fill crucial posts such as Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Chief Whip and many other important positions, only they will know. Indeed the worst days of our province lie ahead.
It is this, which voters must bear in mind when casting their votes on 7 May and how their vote will have a direct impact on the quality of their lives over the next five years.
The DA puts the needs of the people first, and our rigorous, objective and independent candidate selection process is testament to that fact. We do not base our selection criteria on party loyalty and cronyism, we choose our people on the basis of their skills, expertise and commitment to improving the lives of Mpumalanga’s people.
Save Mpumalanga, vote DA on 7 May. Together for Change, Together for Jobs.