Until recently, Lesang Magang’s march towards the BDP’s Secretary General (SG) position seemed to be gathering unstoppable momentum.
However, the landscape has a habit of changing quickly in the rocky world of politics.
Magang’s journey to Tsholetsa now looks far from straightforward, with his support reportedly on the wane as a number of key figures switch their allegiances.
He is said to have lost the backing of the party’s Youth Structure as well as some Members of Parliament, with Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Thapelo Matsheka being singled out.
According to a source from Magang’s team, certain high-profile members became disillusioned with his apparent lack of direction and chose to defect to current SG Mpho Balopi’s camp.
“The main issue is that our members accuse Magang of not sharing enough information about his roadmap. They want to know what is next if he wins but he seems a bit cagey with that.”
The source added this has killed the high spirits in the camp, which had been steadily building on the back of a successful nationwide tour.
“The other candidates are quiet except that Boyce Sebetela managed to bring back lost votes in the northern side into the party. For now it is a matter of relying on hope since the prospect for a win is demising rapidly,” concluded the insider.
However, Magang dismissed such talk, insisting his campaign was on track.
“It is only that we are complying with State of the Public Emergency and once they open up for travel I will continue,” he maintained.
Asked if some of his supporters were crossing to Balopi’s camp, a defiant Magang responded, “I wasn’t aware that Balopi is still running for SG position. I have been focused on other candidates.”
Slightly contradicting his colleague, former MP for Mmathethe-Molapowabojang, Alfred Madigele, whose name has been mentioned as one of those who ditched Magang, explained he was never part of the team.
“After withdrawing from the race I started supporting Balopi for SG position. I am not aware that I have ever been in Magang’s team,” Madigele told The Voice.
Efforts to get a comment from Matsheka hit a snag as he did not respond to our questionnaire.
Initially scheduled for last year, BDP’s elective congress has been put on hold indefinitely due to Covid-19 and the safety regulations surrounding the pandemic.