I was not fired and I'm not resigning: Gauteng Premier David Makhura speaks out


Gauteng Premier David Makhura says he has not been recalled: “I will not be resigning, I am handing over. I have not written a resignation and they did not make a decision to recall me.”

At a briefing called by ANC Gauteng leadership on Sunday, 4 September, Makhura confirmed that he would soon vacate his position in the provincial government. He shut down claims that it was a decision by the ANC Gauteng’s Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) and insisted that he had determined his own fate.

Makhura is the sixth premier of Gauteng and has been at the helm since 2014. He emphasised that his exit from government was a long time coming; a decision he had communicated to the party in February. He also said he was not expecting to deliver the next state of the province address.

“I said to the leadership that I am ready [to leave] and that we just need to manage the process properly and let us do it in a way that does not create problems in the organisation… I did make it clear to them that I am not resigning, but I want to hand over properly because that is my obligation,” said David Makhura.

At the briefing, Gauteng ANC secretary Thembinkosi “TK” Nciza lambasted the media for reporting that Makhura had been pushed or elbowed out of his position. According to Nciza, the ANC was facilitating a seamless transition that did not involve factionalism or chaos.

The party, he said, wants the new premier to be given enough time to ease into the position and work towards strengthening the provincial government ahead of the 2024 elections.

“People are not used to an African National Congress that is not chaotic… We, the PEC and the premier, have agreed on a process with other structures. When there is a process of a smooth transition on the basis of material conditions — Gauteng is not like any other province, it is complex — you cannot be clumsy or reckless… You must make sure that even when you are looking at the leader that must take over, you are applying yourself and your mind and you forget about factions,” Nciza insisted.

Makhura will remain in office until the ANC can find a suitable candidate to replace him.

Sources in the PEC told Daily Maverick that it was “most likely” that provincial chair Panyaza Lesufi and PEC member Lebogang Maile would be recommended to replace Makhura. A third name would likely be that of a female PEC member. The candidates will be interviewed and a premier-elect selected.

The Gauteng leadership would not be drawn on who would be replacing Makhura. Neither could they give a clear timeframe as to when Makhura would stop serving as premier. Makhura, however, said he would resign from the provincial legislature as soon as he was replaced by the government.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Letsema social compact campaign in Delmas, Mpumalanga, on Saturday, 3 September, ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa said the national structure had yet to receive a report on any reshuffle.

“I have heard of the discussions of the PEC. The discussions still need to be taken upstairs to the officials, to the National Working Committee in the ANC. It is a fully fledged consultative process that will ensue, and I will be waiting together with the other officials for a report of what has transpired. This is what happens with all our provinces whenever they want to change anyone. They come and they give us the reasons in full, table every argument and we then mull over that and then a decision is made,” he said.

– Daily Maverick

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