Limpopo’s Ponani Makhubele finally heads to Parliament

Limpopo’s Ponani Makhubele finally heads to Parliament

Limpopo’s Ponani Petunia Makhubele is amongst four candidates who have been sworn in as members of Parliament in a hybrid swearing in ceremony by the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Lechesa Tsenoli.

They are filling vacancies that were present in the National Assembly following the passing on of ANC MPs, Dr Pumza Dyantyi, Advocate Loyiso Mpumlwana, Nomvuzo Shabalala, Nombulelo Hermans and Minister in the Presidency, Jackson Mthembu.

In 2019, Makhubele’s name was mysteriously removed from the list of the ANC party members going to Parliament after the general elections.

She then took the party to court and won. However, the governing party did not implement the court ruling until now.

 “It is true that I have taken the ANC to court after my name was removed from the list of Parliament, but then between 2019 and this week nothing much has happened in particular between myself and the ANC PEC in Limpopo” she says.

Makhubela says the governing party’s highest-decision making structure, the National Executive Committee, has been discussing the matter form November last year, but because of COVID-19 the matter was not finalised.

“The ANC officials contacted me, to inform me about taking an oath in Parliament and just accepted, there is no longer a court case, any outstanding matters will be between me and the ANC,” she says.

Makhubele has defended the ANC’s integrity, saying there is nothing wrong with the party but individuals who misuse their positions of power.

The Giyani-born Makhubele replaces Hermans and has a rich political background.

Ackerville bids final goodbye to Mthembu

Ackerville bids final goodbye to Mthembu

The community of Ackerville in Emalahleni, Mpumalanga, bid a final farewell to one of its own on Sunday.

Minister in the Presidency, Jackson Mthembu, succumbed to COVID-19 on Thursday.

While the number of those attending the anti-apartheid activist’s burial was limited due to the country’s COVID-19 restrictions, which allow only up to 50 people, some residents braved the rain and lined-up the streets to see Mthembu’s funeral procession off.

The 62-year-old has touched the hearts of many South Africans as he still stayed in the township and his wife continued working as a nurse despite the Minister’s status, something described as rare in South Africa’s political landscape.

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered the eulogy in church.

He said Mthembu was a principled and humble man.

To him – Ramaphosa said – the Minister was more than a colleague and a comrade.

Ramaphosa says the Minister’s death has left a void both in government and his political home, the governing African National Congress (ANC).

Mthembu was born in Mpumalanga, 62 years ago.

He was a student leader in the 70s and rose through the ranks of the ANC – serving as the national spokesperson of the party during the Mandela administration.

He went on to become the party’s Chief Whip in Parliament during the Zuma era and was appointed as the Minister in the Presidency after the 2019 general elections.

Most South Africans who have crossed paths with him have said they will remember him for his humility, sense of humour, professionalism and forthrightness.