Mangaung: Mkhize tipped to be ANC treasurer and keep premier’s post

2012-12-18 00:00

KWAZULU-NATAL Premier Zweli Mkhize will not relinquish his post as the head of the provincial government if he is elected ANC treasurer-general, said provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala.

Mkhize himself was not prepared to answer the question.

“Let’s get the election out of the way; we don’t want to have premature discussions,” he said yesterday.

Mkhize is expected to trounce his opponent, ANC Gauteng chairperson Paul Mashatile, who has aligned himself with the forces of change bloc.

He was formally nominated at the conference yesterday.

Mkhize’s nomination was greeted by loud applause, which seemed to outclass Mashatile’s support.

Speaking on the sidelines of the conference, Zikalala said that if Mkhize assumed the new role, he would remain the premier of the province.

“As far as we are concerned his premiership will continue,” Zikalala said.

However, a decision would be made about Mkhize’s future as ANC provincial chairperson.

Zikalala said that the provincial executive committee (PEC) would discuss this if and when, necessary.

He would not say what the provincial leadership wished to happen and whether it had discussed the matter.

“We don’t discuss issues prematurely,” Zikalala said.

Indications are that Mkhize will have to relinquish his ANC chairmanship if the national conference adopts one of the proposed constitutional amendments seeking to bar NEC members from holding leadership positions in the party’s lower structures.

The party wants leaders who serve in PECs to choose between their provincial positions and serving as leaders elected to the NEC.

A recent media report suggested that KwaZulu-Natal leaders had pushed for Mkhize to be nominated as treasurer-general because they no longer wanted him in the province.

It said that incumbents were lined up to take his position as premier.

Zikalala dismissed the report as far-fetched.

“These are people who live in dreamland,” he said.

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