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ANC Free State waits for Luthuli House green light to fire premier and rest of executive

  • The ANC Free State provincial leadership has resolved to recall Free State Premier Sisi Ntombela. 
  • The province also recommended three candidates to replace Ntombela, with current Free State ANC provincial chairperson Mxolisi Dukwana the firm favourite. 
  • News24 understands that a final recall and a reshuffle of the Free State executive was expected to take place after the ANC national leadership gave its go-ahead. 

A leadership overhaul of the Free State government is expected within days as the ANC in the province consults with the party’s national leadership about recalling Premier Sisi Ntombela and dissolving her executive.

News24 understands that the Free State leadership, headed by recently elected chairperson Mxolisi Dukwana, was expected to meet with ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula for the ANC national leadership to give the go-ahead for Ntombela to be replaced. 

This meeting was expected to take place on Tuesday.  

The Free State ANC prefers Dukwana to replace Ntombela. 

Dukwana, the current Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC, is understood to be the leading candidate among the three recommended names.

Deputy provincial chairperson Toto Makume is also on the list.  

At the weekend, the ANC Free State executive committee resolved to recall Ntombela and Mangaung mayor Mxolisi Siyonzana.

The two were accused of presiding over a failed provincial and local government. Ntombela was a known ally of former Free State premier and long-serving ANC provincial leader Ace Magashule.

Dukwana was fired as an MEC and thrust into political obscurity when Magashule held a firm grip on the province.  

Dukwana, a known supporter of President Cyril Ramaphosa, made a comeback in 2021 when he was appointed to chair an ANC interim committee in the Free State.  

READ | Mxolisi Dukwana emerges as ANC Free State chair after hotly-contested election

He was elected as the Free State chairperson of the ANC in January, making way for the political shift in the province. 

Ntombela lost to Dukwana at the provincial conference and was not re-elected as a provincial executive committee (PEC) member. 

A PEC member told News24 that reports of a cabinet reshuffle in the Free State needed to be revised because the province still awaited a decision from the national ANC leadership on recalling Ntombela and her likely replacement.  

A decision to replace her would only be announced once Luthuli House had given the go-ahead, News24 was told on Tuesday. 

It is understood that a meeting with ANC national officials was expected to take place on Monday night to finalise the changes, but this has yet to happen. 

Free State provincial spokesperson Jabu Mbalula did not respond to requests for comment. 

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