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RFP rebel splits constituency loyalties

A leadership squabble in the Revolution for Prosperity (RFP) Abia constituency involving suspended MP, Thuso Makhalanyane, has plunged the party into serious crisis. Some constituency members are now demanding that the entire Abia committee be disbanded to pave way for a new committee. Others are however demanding a reversal of Makhalanyane’s six-year suspension. Makhalanyane’s faction is alleging that those who are seeking to disband the constituency committee have been bought by the party’s National Executive Committee.

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Two weeks ago, two Abia branches wrote to the NEC demanding Makhalanyane’s ouster. They accused the MP of making decisions without first consulting them.
The two branches, Phakalasane and Holy Innocent, also suggested that the constituency committee should be dissolved.
The branches said they no longer had any confidence in Makhalanyane.

The branches’ secretary generals demanded that both Makhalanyane and his constituency committee be ousted from office.
They also distanced themselves from individuals within the RFP who have been calling for an elective conference to elect a new national executive committee, which Makhalanyane and the Abia constituency have been pushing for.
The two branches also called Makhalanyane “a rebel who does not want to be controlled by the party leadership”.
In their letter Phakalasane branch secretary, Thabo Kotelo, wrote that they no longer have any confidence in the constituency committee.

“We do not associate with the behaviour displayed by our Member of Parliament,” the letter reads in part.
“We are aware that the constituency committee and the Member of Parliament make crucial decisions without consulting the branches,” it reads.

They called on Makhalanyane to refrain from talking about their party on radio stations and in newspapers.

“We suggest that the constituency committee should be dissolved and all those members should be disciplined,” the letter reads.

The Holy Innocent branch deputy secretary, Kelumetse Moerane, wrote that “the constituency committee has changed for the worse as it does not inform members about its decisions”.

“We are not part of the people who took the party to courts of law demanding a conference,” Moerane said in the letter.

He said the Holy Innocent branch was “not happy with the behaviour displayed by the Member of Parliament against the leadership”.

“He is making decisions that suit him alone, he does not consult anyone,” Moerane said.

“We urge our MP to stop talking to the newspapers and radios about the RFP.”

The Holy Innocent branch deputy secretary, Rosemary Thejane, has however come guns blazing in defence of Makhalanyane and the Abia constituency committee.
Thejane said Makhalanyane’s suspension is unlawful.

She wrote that their constitution allows for the constituency committee to discipline its MPs instead of branch committee members directly calling the NEC to take action.

“We were never granted the chance to intervene and talk to our Member of Parliament,” Thejane said in a letter to the NEC.
She added that by suspending Makhalanyane “the committee has left the constituency confused and with no direction”.
Thejane also wrote that the NEC should explain how it came to the decision to suspend Makhalanyane for six years.

Nkheli Liphoto

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