Ntombela is returning for a second time as Premier of the Free State. She took over the reigns from Ace Magashule when he vacated the post to assume his duties at Luthuli House as ANC Secretary General.

Ntombela has worked her way up through the ANC structures.  However, some within the governing ANC in the Free State have not taken kindly to her being appointed to continue leading the provincial government.  Her close ties with Magashule has sparked fears that the controversial ANC secretary general will continue to rule the province from Luthuli House through her.

The Free State government’s failure to hand over documents on time, corroborating claims against Magashule at the Zondo Commission that’s probing allegations of state capture, has also left a blight in her otherwise clean governance record. Former Free State Economic Development MEC, Mxolisi Dukwana, wanted the documents to prove that Magashule took him to meet with the controversial Gupta family, where he was allegedly offered a monthly bribe payment in exchange for a multi-billion rand construction deal.

Ntombela is the deputy president of the African National Congress Women’s League (ANCWL) and has previously served as MECs for Social Development and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs in the Free State.

After her appointment to lead the Free State in 2018, Ntombela promised to unite the ANC.