Mandla Ndlovu Elected Mpumalanga Premier

Chief Justice Raymond Zondo swore in new Members of Parliament in Cape Town on Friday. President Cyril Ramaphosa was expected to be re-elected as the country’s president. (Photo: National Assembly).

Mpumalanga ANC chairperson Mandla Ndlovu has been elected premier, marking a new era for the province after the 2024 general elections.

He replaces embattled former Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane, who was forced to relinquish the top job after ANC top brass confirmed Ndlovu’s candidacy in a statement released on Thursday, June 13. The Mpumalanga Legislature elected Ndlovu at its first sitting on Friday. 

His election came hours after it emerged that the ANC and the Democratic Alliance had agreed to form part of what they call the Government of National Unity – essentially a Grand Coalition – alongside the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the Patriotic Alliance (PA) across all spheres of government. 

DA Leader John Steenhuisen confirmed on the sidelines of the first sitting of the National Assembly in Cape Town on Friday that President Cyril Ramaphosa would be elected as the country’s president – as the leader of the majority party in the GNU – and “uncontested from our side”. 

Ndlovu took over as provincial ANC chairperson in April 2022 following a five-year vacuum caused by the election of his predecessor, David Mabuza as ANC Deputy President in December 2017. Ndlovu was until now the province’s MEC of Public Works, Roads and Transport, serving under  Mtsweni-Tsipane, his political junior. Lindy Masina was also elected as Speaker of the Mpumalanga Legislature. 

Ndlovu’s ascendancy to power would have been a joyful moment for his supporters who felt he had been deliberately overlooked from assuming his rightful position as the province’s premier in the past. It is expected to reduce tensions between his and Mtshweni-Tsipane’s supporters who had been at each other’s throats over control of the province.

Mpumalanga ANC Chairperson Mandla Ndlovu has been elected as the province’s new premier. He replaces Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane.
Newly-elected Limpopo Premier Phophi Ramathuba is being sworn in in the Limpopo Legislature. The former health MEC has succeeded Stan Mathabatha who ruled the province for more than a decade. (Photo: ANC)

As premier, Mtsweni-Tsipane was Ndlovu’s boss in government even though she reported to him in the party as provincial ANC chairperson. 

An ANC source in Mpumalanga alleged that some of Ndlovu’s supporters were unhappy that he had been overlooked in favour of a political junior. 

“They hated the fact that he was playing junior to someone who is not even part of the ANC Top 5 in the province,” said a source who asked not to be named. 

“Now that the national leadership has done the right thing, I think no one will go after Mtshweni-Tsipane. I’ve been receiving calls from lobbyists who can finally breathe because their main man has finally been given the respect he deserves. I also believe Ndlovu will deliver services faster because the province was nearly lost in the election,” said the ANC source.  

The ANC in Mpumalanga dodged the bullet when it received just a percentage over 50% during the recent elections, avoiding a need to seek out coalition partners, unlike in the Northern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. 

The Mpumalanga Legislature sitting was among several meetings held nationwide to elect new premiers and heads of parliaments. In Limpopo, former health MEC Phophi Ramathuba was elected premier while former Cogta MEC Makoma Makhurupetji took over as the Speaker of the Limpopo Legislature.

Kagiso Mokgotsi took over as North West premier while Desmo Mohono was elected as the Speaker of the National Legislature. Panyaza Lesufi was re-elected unopposed as Gauteng Premier. The Gauteng Legislature also elected Provincial ANC treasurer Morakane Mosupyoe as Speaker unopposed. 

Former COGTA MEC Makoma Makhurupetji has been elected as the Speaker of the Limpopo Legislature.

In a statement released on Thursday, ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula confirmed that Ndlovu, Mabuyane, Mokgotsi, Ramathuba and Lesufi were the party’s premiership candidates for Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape, North West, Limpopo and Gauteng.

Maqueen Letsoha-Mathae and Zamani Saul were candidates for the Free State and Northern Cape, respectively. The ANC also announced that it had reached a deal with IFP, DA and the National Freedom Party (NFP) to co-govern Kwazulu-Natal despite the MK Party winning a 45% share of the vote.

Mbalula said the interviews took place between June 10 and 12, 2024 in the presence of the party’s Electoral Committee chairperson Kgalema Motlanthe or his proxy.

“The Electoral Committee commended the national officials for the integrity of the process and the leadership that they demonstrated throughout. The committee expressed appreciation for the rigorous, thorough and impartial approach by the national officials at a time when they were required to provide leadership in many other pressing national developments.

“The national officials posed a range of questions to the candidates covering ethical and capable leadership as set out in Through the Eye of a Needle and the six priorities in the ANC 2024 Election Manifesto that are critical to speeding up transformation and improving the lives of the people,” said Mbalula in a statement released on Thursday, June 13. 

Limpopo’s new premier, Phophi Ramathuba, is being accompanied to the podium after her election in the Provincial Legislature on Friday.

He said the candidates were also interviewed on building a developmental state and capable local government, protecting the human rights and dignity of women, children, young people, older persons, and LGBTQIA+ persons and promoting social cohesion.

“The National Officials were impressed by the candidates that they interviewed and commended provinces for the quality of their nominees. The ANC renewal process seeks to restore trust and confidence as a leader of the National Democratic Revolution and the fundamental socio-economic transformation of our society,” Mbalula said.



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