Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has rejected allegations that she’s gunning for David Mabuza’s position as African National Congress (ANC) Deputy President.
Mail & Guardian reported on Friday that according to an anonymous complainant, Sisulu is staffing her department with “loyalists” as part of a campaign to unseat Mabuza at next year’s ANC National General Council (NGC).
In a statement, Sisulu’s department said, “The allegations are as silly as they are false.”
‘No vacancy in ANC’s presidency’
It added, “The National General Council of the ANC does not elect office bearers and there is no vacancy in the presidency of the governing party.”
The anonymous complainant reportedly lodged the allegations with the Public Protector and the Public Service Commission (PSC).
Both entities confirmed receiving the complaint, which asks them to investigate the alleged appointment in her department of 15 people who had worked in Sisulu’s dropped bid for ANC presidency in 2017.
The complaint alleges that Sisulu’s chief director, Mphumzi Mdekazi, handpicked the appointees to the department’s National Rapid Response Task Team.
However, the department said the Task Team “is constituted by suitably qualified women and men whose task, among others, is to troubleshoot around the country where there are service delivery issues.”
Appointment of Bathabile Dlamini
It has also emerged that Sisulu has appointed controversial former minister Bathabile Dlamini as the new chairperson of the Social Housing Regulatory Authority interim board.
Sisulu’s spokesperson Makhosini Mgitywa confirmed the appointment during an interview with talk radio 702 on Friday morning, saying Dlamini has “institutional memory” on housing matters.
Mgitywa said, “She remains a member of the National Executive Committee of the ANC, she is the president of the Women’s League of the ANC and we have to accept the fact that there is a deployment committee of the ANC.”
He denied claims that Dlamini will have control over the Authority’s R1b budget, saying she will only have influence at policy level.
Dlamini’s tenure as Social Development Minister was marred by controversy over SA Social Security Agency’s (SASSA) contract with Cash Paymaster Services, which the Constitutional Court declared “illegal and invalid.”
Her appointment has fuelled speculation that Sisulu is attempting to win the support of the ANC Women’s League for another bid for ANC presidency at the party’s national conference in 2022.