Johannesburg, October 19, 2023* – By Farai D Hove | The African National Congress (ANC) has taken action against David Masondo, the former director of the OR Tambo School of Leadership, for his public criticism of Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Masondo, who previously held the position of deputy finance minister and was the principal of the school, has been replaced by former Gauteng Premier David Makhura.
The decision to remove Masondo from his position was announced by ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula, who cited it as a response to an “alignment issue” within the party. The ANC’s national executive committee has instructed the school’s chairperson, former deputy ANC president Kgalema Motlanthe, and its board to effect the removal of Masondo.
Masondo’s tenure as the principal of the OR Tambo School of Leadership had seen the institution used as a platform for training individuals appointed by the ANC to serve in various municipalities and legislatures. However, a power struggle over control of the school had been brewing, with a recent lecture on the Zimbabwean elections at the center of the dispute.
Notably, this decision comes after Masondo’s criticism of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, although ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula denied that this was the primary reason for the change. Mbalula emphasized that the decision was rooted in an internal alignment issue.
David Makhura, the former Gauteng Premier, has been selected to take up the role of head of the OR Tambo School of Leadership. Makhura, described by Mbalula as the ANC’s “political commissar,” is responsible for the party’s ideological thinking and is a full-time deployee.
In addressing the situation, Mbalula also criticized the school for providing a platform to a single group with anti-Zanu-PF sentiments. He stressed that the school should not be used as a propaganda tool for any particular faction within South Africa.
Despite Masondo’s removal from his position as school director, Mbalula mentioned that he would still have a role within the institution.