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Free State
Apr 14 2012 8:59AM
 
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Getrude Makhafola

The race for the control of the ruling party in the province is gaining momentum as regions ready themselves for conferences scheduled to take place by the end of the month.

ANC provincial spokesperson William Bulwane said yesterday that the provincial executive committee's last sitting at the end of last month directed all five regions to get their branches in order and prepare for the conferences.

Motheo and Lejweleputswa regions are already busy with their branch general meetings. Fezile Dabi, Xhariep and Thabo Mofutsanyane are expected to start theirs today yesterday.

They are supposed to end with nominations for the conferences and have two weeks to finalise their processes.

Premier Ace Magashule is likely to stand for re-election at the ­provincial conference.

Axed MEC for economic development and tourism Mxolisi Dukwana and ANC provincial secretary Sibongile Besani joined forces officially on Tuesday in Welkom, pledging to contest leadership in the province against Magashule.

Dukwana was replaced by Magashule's staunch ally, Olly Mlamleli during the provincial cabinet re-shuffle in February and some believe he is not happy about his removal.

Mlamleli is deputy chairperson of the ANC Women's League in the province. MEC for social development Sisi Ntombela was re-elected chairperson, ensuring support for Magashule by the league.

The group led by Dukwana and Besani want to see Magashule replaced by Dukwana at the upcoming conference.

Umkhonto Wesizwe Military Veteran's Association provincial chairperson Gregory Nthatisi is also in the Dukwana group.

Besani appeared with leaders of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL), including its president Julius Malema, at the league's economic freedom march in Brandfort. Alongside the suspended Malema, Besani called for economic freedom.

The provincial leadership of the ANCYL want Magashule replaced, although regions such as Motheo and Fezile Dabi have defied their provincial leaders and pledged their support for Magashule.

Early indications are that Magashule is likely to beat his opponents as they are divided.

getrudem@thenewage.co.za

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