KZN ANC in an uproar

2015-03-02 00:00

THE rumour mill is in overdrive as talks of the re-election of the eThekwini ­region chairperson circulated over the weekend.

Several sources claim that they had received SMSes informing them that the eThekwini region had been ­disbanded at the weekend.

This comes after disgruntled ­members of the ANC took to the streets last week expressing their ­dissatisfaction over the outcomes of the eThekwini ­regional conference that took place two weeks ago.

eThekwini Mayor James Nxumalo won the highly contested election by 233 votes while his opponent, Zandile Gumede, got 219.

Shortly after the conference allegations of rigging surfaced as party insiders revealed that three branches — 16, 30 and 74 — had been included despite their failing a branch audit process.

It is believed that ANC secretary- general Gwede Mantashe wrote a letter to ­provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala, ­informing him not to include the three branches. Zikalala was not available for comment.

The Witness understands that the ANC’s provincial working committee apparently took a decision to include the branches despite Mantashe’s ­advice.

A Sunday newspaper reported ­yesterday that the province’s top five had been tasked to nullify the outcome of the conference after it was allegedly rigged.

Sources told The Witness that ­Mantashe met with provincial leadership where a decision to nullify the outcomes of the elections was taken.

A well-placed party insider who asked not to be named said, “An official announcement hasn’t been made yet, but we understand that Gwede ­Mantashe was here on Friday to discuss concerns levelled by Zandile Gumede’s faction.

“Gwede recommended the conference to be nullified … This has opened up a big can of worms because it means every time there are disgruntled ­members who do not get their way, the conference will be rerun,” he said.

“We also can’t view this intervention from national in isolation. Remember that Gwede Mantashe and Zweli Mkhize want to lead the ANC in 2017 so they have to place the right people now who will give them the support for the elections,” claimed the source.

Another party insider, believed to be in Gumede’s camp, said, “While we would welcome a rerun, there is nothing unusual about it. The precedents may be guided by a decision taken in 2012 where provincial structures of the ANC in the Free State were nullified.

“We will wait for province to call the structures to communicate any ­decision made by national for the way forward.”

Another source said, “Gwede Mantashe must explain why he took a decision to nullify the elections, because there were several objections from ­other regions like Abaqulusi, Amalahle, Lower South Coast and Ukhahlamba but he never intervened there.”

• amanda.khoza@witness.co.za

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