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Mbalula denies axing David Masondo over Zanu-PF criticism, Ibbo Mandaza lecture

by Staff reporter
23 Oct 2023 at 06:36hrs | Views
THE ANC last week announced that its head of political education David Makhura has been appointed as the new head of the party's governance school, meaning that ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) member David Masondo has been given the boot.

Speaking to the media at the party post-NEC briefing this week, party secretary general Fikile Mbalula told journalists this decision makes sense because it aligns with Makhura's position in the party. He added that as head of political education, Makhura was full-time at Luthuli House.

He further explained that Masondo would continue making contributions to the school despite no longer being the head.

"It is an alignment Masondo is capable of. The OR Tambo School of Governance is a project of the ANC and Makhura is full- time, Masondo was never full- time," he said.

This change follows a row over Zimbabwean academic and author Dr Ibbo Mandaza speaking at the school amid his home country's elections.

Mbalalu tried to halt a seminar titled The State of Democracy in the SADC Region: A Reflection on the National Elections of Zimbabwe, which was scheduled last month, where Mandaza was set to speak. Mbalula had articulated that the ANC's posture is to support Zanu-PF while Mandaza has an opposing stance.

The governing party is also involved in behind-the-scenes talks to deal with Zimbabwe's disputed election.

Masondo went ahead with the seminar despite attempts by Mbalula to have the event cancelled.

Mbalula attempted to brush off this incident as the reason why the change in leadership was made. He explained that his gripe was that the seminar did not allow both pro and anti-Zanu-PF opinions and was biased toward one idea.

"Masondo would not listen — I think they satisfied themselves with what they wanted to bash, they did not want to debate.

"I know you are going to raise an issue about the seminar which is an issue we have solved. Ibbo makes all kinds of allegations and it does not know what he is talking about. I have respect for him as an intellectual and so on. The ANC will never oppress anyone. We did not want him to continue and it was his pulpit alone. We cannot give a platform for dissidence and criticism of other countries. We want an honest dialogue, a dialogue of minds," according to Mbalula.

He further said the governance school should not be used as a "propaganda tool" for one group in South Africa that doesn't like Emmerson Mnangagwa as a president and Zanu-PF.

Masondo was the first principal of the school which was launched in 2019.

Masondo, who is also the deputy finance minister, had not responded immediately to DM after being approached for comment.

Source - Daily Maverick