Rally fizzles out

2011-07-14 00:00

THE mass meeting that was expected to bring thousands of ANC members to rally to a call secretaries of the Moses Mabhida region saw only a few hundred people arriving in dribs and drabs at Freedom Square in Pietermaritzburg yesterday.

The meeting was supposed to show how much support the regional executive council (REC) enjoys at the grassroots, but most of the people who spoke to The Witness at the meeting expressed their unhappiness with the regional leadership.

Many had expected that the meeting would address pertinent party matters, including job creation.

Said Nkosi Cebekhulu, one of the young people who attended the meeting from Ward 13, “We have once again been made fools of because we were not aware that this meeting was about supporting the region that has been responsible for the near collapse of the Msunduzi Municipality.”

He said that they are not in favour of disgraced former deputy mayor Alpha Shelembe, who was also at the meeting, to be reinstated as treasurer of the REC.

“We thought that the premier and provincial chairperson of the ANC, Dr Zweli Mkhize, would be addressing the meeting, not people who have failed us,” said Cebekhulu.

Regional secretary Supa Zuma told the meeting that the message from the branches is that they had never sent anyone to stage a sit-in at the ANC offices.

“We are not going to allow anyone to speak on behalf of the ANC as the region,” he said.

He said the problems started before the local government elections, when some people were not happy with the elected candidates.

Zuma said they tried to address this problem as well as “the problems presented by those who staged a sit-in our offices”.

Siyabonga Mshengu, one of the activists involved in the six-week sit-in at the ANC offices, said he saw the premier’s staff at the meeting, which he said was proof that the premier’s office had bankrolled the rally “because the premier has vested interest in what was going on in Moses Mabhida region”.

Mshengu said the activitsts no longer trust the leadership of Dr Zweli Mkhize because it has divided the region.

SA Communist Party and Cosatu members were not seen at the rally.

Some ANC branch members, who spoke on condition that they would not be named, said they are angry that their branch secretaries were made to sign pledges of support for the REC.

They asked how the secretaries had been given a mandate because in many areas no branch meetings had been called.

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