African National Congress secretary general Ace Magashule has denied suggestions that new full-time appointments at the party's headquarters are a threat to his powers.
The ANC on Sunday announced an immediate deployment of former national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa to the office of the ANC presidency, as well as that of Senzo Mchunu and Dakota Legoete as chair and deputy chair of its organising committee.
This after the party's national executive committee (NEC) met in Irene, Pretoria on Sunday for its first meeting since former president Jacob Zuma resigned from office.
"The SG's powers are very clear in terms of the constitution," Magashule said in response to a question about the suggestion that his powers could be curtailed.
There is no way comrade Mchunu will go there to neutralise the powers of the SG.
However, some NEC members have told News24 that these appointments have more to do with a lack of trust in Magashule.
"We needed Mchunu in that office because Magashule would deploy his own foot soldiers. He tends to vie away from the message of the organisation," said one source.
Another NEC member confirmed this saying, "we don't trust him".
A Zuma ally in the NEC denied these claims, however, saying that it had nothing to do with undermining Magashule.
"They just put Mchunu and Legoete [there] because of the experience they have. The final say on matters in the organisation between meetings lies with Magashule and his office," another NEC insider said.
In a move similar to former president Thabo Mbeki's tenure in the ANC, the office of the presidency will be beefed up by a presence, namely Kodwa.
Previously, the department which was headed by Smuts Ngonyama outshone the secretary general's office.
Magashule announced that Kodwa will deal with monitoring and evaluation at Ramaphosa's office.
"We have decided that we need to be evaluating our resolutions of conference. We need to evaluate performance of cadres at various sectors. We need to be monitoring service delivery. We need to make sure that all of us are actually working together to make sure that we deliver quality services," Magashule said explaining Kodwa's role.
'No discussion on Cabinet'
Magashule repeated that the NEC did not discuss issues of government, the Cabinet and a new deputy president. President Cyril Ramaphosa will discuss the issue with the party's top 6, but it remains his prerogative to elect a new Cabinet.
The NEC also discussed the state of the nation address as well as finance minister Malusi Gigaba's budget speech and looked at preparations for the 2019 elections.
Pule Mabe was also endorsed as national spokesperson.
"They got us there because no one is willing to work with Ace," an NEC member said.
The NEC also appointed sub-committees which included a deployment committee that will be chaired by ANC deputy president David "DD" Mabuza.
The sub-committee on constitutional and legal affairs will be chaired by Dr Zweli Mkhize, information and publicity led by Nkenke Kekana, Enoch Godongwana will continue with the economic transformation subcommittee, while Edna Molewa moves from international relations to the national disciplinary committee and Fikile Mbalula stays as elections head.
Convicted and former MP Tony Yengeni is appointed as peace and stability chair.
Nomvula Mokonyane will head the national disciplinary committee of appeals and National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete will head the political committee.
Several NEC members have also been deployed to various provinces and conveners.