Opposition parties in the Free State say the imminent removal of Premier Sisi Ntombela is rooted in African National Congress (ANC)’s factional battles.
Ntombela lost the leadership contest of the Free State ANC to Cooperative Governance MEC, Mxolisi Dukwana, two weeks ago.
The ANC in the Free State insists that it has not resolved to recall Premier Sisi Ntombela. However, high-ranking officials in various party structures have confirmed through their social media accounts the decision to remove Ntombela.
Ntombela’s son, Bandile Ntombela, has also confirmed the news on his Facebook page. The SABC News understands that Ntombela’s impending removal is yet to be endorsed by the ANC’s National Executive Committee.
The future of Ntombela, the Speaker of the legislature, Zanele Sifuba, and nine MECs was put in jeopardy after they failed to make it into the powerful 35-member PEC.
The ANC Youth League was the first structure to seek Ntombela’s political blood. The league has also demanded that the provincial cabinet be reshuffled.
Ntombela says she is yet to be informed of the move to oust her.
Free State ANC deputy chairperson, Ketso Makume says, “The PEC, when it was sitting, was looking on issues and not individuals, and matters have also been referred to lekgotla. But you should be aware that the appointment of premiers is being done by the NEC. All we can do is recommend which is something we have not done. Because lekgotla is in session and we will communicate later the decisions that have been taken.”
Free State ANC 1st deputy secretary Teboho Mokgoloanyane says, “Of course, we would expect that there would be changes in leadership after an assessment of the objective conditions has been made and taking into account a programme of action taken by new leadership.”
Opposition parties contend that Ntombela’s axing will not improve the delivery of basic services but possibly result in the looting of public funds.
“We also know that when a new regime takes over in the ANC that they normally have a reshuffling from the premier’s office right down to the provincial government. these cadres are as insecure and we are reaching the end of the financial year. and we find a lot of fiscal dumping in the municipalities.”
Free State EFF chairperson Mapheule Liphoko says, “We are calling on our people to do that. We are going to 2024 thus might be the last chance that they have to remove the ANC from power. We are tired of black people being treated as by the way things, the last to enrich these elites that we know we are just here to loot from the state. we ask our people to join us and remove all of ANC from power.”
The Free State ANC leadership has also resolved to endorse the removal of Mangaung executive mayor, Mxolisi Siyonzana. The ANC in Mangaung resolved to recall Siyonzana in August last year.
They have also called for the axing of Mangaung deputy executive mayor, Mapaseka Mothibi-Nkoane, and council speaker, Stefani Lockman-Naidoo.
The PEC is expected to communicate its decisions on Tuesday.