The ANC branch which supposedly sent former CEO of Eskom Brian Molefe to Parliament says it knows nothing about him. Branch members told three Sunday newspapers that Molefe wasn't a known branch member.
Molefe's appointment as a Member of Parliament (MP) was announced by Parliament on Friday, "to fill a vacancy on the North West list of ANC Members of Parliament, which is depleted", said parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo.
Molefe has now turned from tweeting Eskom statements to ANC material, with his first ANC-linked tweets about economic empowerment.
On Sunday, the Sunday Independent reported that Molefe was "sneaked through the back-door in an attempt to position him for a cabinet position" and the news caused "ructions" in the North West province's ANC structures, with various branches saying he wasn't a member.
North West ANC secretary Dakota Legoete told the Sunday Independent that Molefe was a resident and ANC member in Madibeng, although he lives in Centurion. "For the record, Brian is an ANC member in good standing of Ward 29 in Hartbeespoort Dam in Madibeng Local Municipality."
But Ward 29 branch chairperson Abdul Milanzi and branch secretary Christina Malula said he wasn't a branch member. "I only know Molefe as CEO of Eskom. People are just using our ward. They are corrupt people," Milanzi told Sunday Independent. "Molefe was never in our branch records or meetings or even seen in the whole of Madibeng."
Malula said Molefe was "probably registered in a parallel branch which we do not know".
City Press reported that ANC MP Abram Mudau was pushed to resign from Parliament to make a space for Molefe. Unnamed leaders of the ANC's Hartbeespoort Ward 29 branch also told City Press that Molefe wasn't a member, although he owns a property in Hartbeespoort.
The Sunday Times also reported that Ward 29 didn't know about Molefe's membership or deployment to Parliament. The newspaper quoted the branch secretary, named as Christina Mululu, as saying: "We don't know him" and that he'd never been to a meeting.
The Sunday Times also reported that the vacancy left by Mudau was used for Molefe. Mudau, who became an MP in April 2104, resigned on January 30. Mudau denied to the newspaper that he was pushed out, but claimed he left because of a broken arm and leg he suffered in 2013 in a political brawl. "I thought I was fine, but I was not fine."
All the newspapers expected that Molefe will get some sort of finance role, aimed at reduced Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's influence.