Divisions emerge ahead of ANC's elective meeting

2008-06-19 00:00

Divisions within ANC branches and regions have been reported ahead of the sixth provincial elective conference starting in Pietermaritzburg today.

While all the regions are unanimous in backing current provincial deputy chairman Zweli Mkhize to take over as chairman, there is uncertainty over who will replace him as deputy chairman and who will become the provincial treasurer.

Most regions are backing former SACP provincial chair and Speaker of the KZN Legislature, Willies Mchunu, for the hotly contested deputy chairmanship.

However, eThekwini, the largest region, is backing Siyabonga Cwele, a national MP.

Last-minute lobbying from those endorsing MEC Bheki Cele, the former eThekwini regional secretary, for the deputy chairmanship has sown further divisions within the party ranks.

One such divided region is Moses Mabhida (formerly Greater Pietermaritzburg) where delegates are split into two camps backing Mchunu or Cele.

Speaking at the memorial service of an ANC councillor during the week, Msunduzi Mayor Zanele Hlatshwayo, the ANC treasurer in the region, referred to such divisions before calling for unity ahead of the conference.

The Witness understands that some eThekwini delegates are now going against the decision to back Cwele, but regional chairman John Mchunu said the region will not be backing Cele.

“He [Cele] announced that he will not stand, he has not come back to us to tell us of the alleged will to stand for elections. We therefore cannot support him because as far as we know he will not stand.”

A regional chairman told The Witness yesterday that Cele supporters were dissuaded from continuing with their lobbying for Cele.

“The caucus of regional chairmen reached a consensus that it will not be correct for Cele to stand as this might sow divisions. However, delegates cannot be prevented from making nominations from the floor.”

Indications are that the charismatic Mchunu is likely to emerge the victor, as eThekwini region

could still support him.

“Our position [backing Cwele] can still change as we are talking to other regions to hear what they say. We are still open to persuasion from other regions because we do not want any tensions at the conference,” said a source.

Senior politics lecturer at the University of KZN, Zakhele Ndlovu, believes Mchunu’s election as deputy chairman would serve to strengthen relations between the Tripartite Alliance partners in the province.

“Since the new leadership took over at Polokwane, much emphasis has been placed on rekindling the relationship between the alliance partners. Mchunu’s election into the position will serve to reinforce that,” he said.

The position of provincial treasurer is also hotly contested. Nominees include Peggy Nkonyeni, Sizani Dlamini and Makhosi Khoza, the former Pietermaritzburg deputy mayor.

However, this is likely to be a two-horse race between Nkonyeni and Dlamini. The latter is the frontrunner in the race with the backing of the majority of regions.

Dlamini, who joined the United Democratic Front at the age of 16, boasts strong struggle credentials including her involvement in the ANC’s Operation Vula and other key MK operations in the eighties.

Nkonyeni’s campaign has been tainted by the negative publicity that her department has been receiving in the run-up to the conference. Delegates in Moses Mabhida and Abaqulusi regions are divided over the two nominees.

Despite the reported divisions, the conference is expected to be a peaceful one.

bmbanjwa@witness.co.za

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.