The North West legislature’s deputy speaker, Jane Manganye, is defying African National Congress (ANC) provincial chair Supra Mahumapelo by refusing several orders that she resign from the position.
Manganye told News24 she is being "purged" because she supports Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa in the ANC presidential race, while Mahumapelo supports NEC member Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
"I am staying in the job because what they are doing is wrong, there [is] no compelling reason why they are taking me out. If they were saying I am sleeping and not working, I could understand, but I am serving in all committees, no one has said I don’t perform well," Manganye said.
She said her troubles escalated three weeks ago after she hosted Ramaphosa in Rustenburg under the banner of her other political home, the South African Communist Party (SACP).
News24 has seen a December 5 letter, which is addressed to Manganye from provincial chairperson Dakota Legoete, and which is headed: "Final request to resign as the deputy speaker."
In the letter, Manganye is given until 11:00 on December 6 to resign and remain an ordinary member of the provincial legislature. If she refused, it would "become clear she is defying" the party’s leadership.
Calls to step down
The letter indicated that Manganye has declined previous requests calling for her to step down.
"Failure to do so will leave us with no option but to recall you in line with the organisation's decision," the letter states.
News24 has learnt that this was the second letter demanding her resignation, and that there were several other attempts in person, which included when she was hospitalised last month.
However, Legoete has denied that they are firing her because she is supporting Ramaphosa.
"This is a seven-month-old matter. We didn’t even know she supported Ramaphosa. It was before the ANC presidential race took shape," he said.
When asked for comment, Mahumapelo referred News24 to Legoete.
'A dereliction of duty'
Legoete said they want 64-year-old Manganye out because she had failed to "perform" duties.
He claimed she had initially turned down a proposal to be redeployed to a "lighter" job - that of National Assembly MP.
But she had agreed to be an ordinary MPL.
"She is not contributing. She is forever absent. We wanted to give her something lighter in terms of responsibility."
When asked how being an MP would be a "lighter" job, Legoete said: "Deputy Speaker is a full-time job, that needs one to coordinate to ensure the proper running of legislature, ensure functionality of the portfolio committees. So, we need her every day, whereas as an ordinary MPL or MP, she would attend her committees only Tuesday to Thursday… it's not demanding all the time," he said.
Manganye confirmed that she turned down the offer of moving to Cape Town because she lived with her 105-year-old mother. She insisted there was no "real reason" given for dismissing her as deputy speaker.
'Plans of targeting other colleagues'
She insists she is being purged, following the axing of SACP provincial secretary Madoda Sambatha as MEC in June and added that there were attempts to recall or fire several other colleagues.
Manganye said she would fight Mahumapelo to the bitter end.
"If they fight organisationally, I am ready. In our organisation we have democracy. You have the right to choose whomever to elect and be elected, but not hatred," she said.
Ironically, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MPL Alfred Motsi said opposition parties the EFF and Democratic Alliance (DA) in the North West legislature passed two motions of confidence in Manganye.
"We got information that ANC wants to get rid of them and we put up a motion of confidence... We are not interested in ANC politics. That is their fight, but we want stability in North West. We have had four members of the legislature and three MECs removed causing instability of North West because Supra wants only 'Ja Baas' people next to him," Motsi said.
Legoete said Manganye will be recalled if she continues to refuse to resign.
"We have given her an option. If she doesn’t help us, we will recall her," he said.