Thobani Zuma expected to be deputy mayor

2011-06-29 00:00

THE ANC leadership in KwaZulu-Natal is today expected to name Moses Mabhida regional executive committee (REC) member Thobani Zuma as the new Msunduzi deputy mayor to replace Alpha Shelembe.

Shelembe resigned from the position last week.

The Witness learnt that this is one of many decisions taken at the two-day provincial executive committee (PEC) meeting in Durban on Sunday and Monday.

Today the ANC will hold a press conference to announce decisions taken at the PEC meeting about Msunduzi and the crisis facing the party in its Moses Mabhida region.

Former speaker Babu Baijoo is expected to replace Zonke Mbatha as speaker and struggle veteran Truman Magubane will take over as whip, a position previously held by Zuma.

However, the PEC reportedly decided not to announce the disbandment of its embattled Moses Mabhida (Pietermaritzburg) region, a key demand by disgruntled ANC activists who have staged a sit-in at its Pietermaritzburg offices for the past four weeks.

The inclusion of Shelembe and Mbatha in the leadership of Msunduzi council after the May 18 elections sparked the protest by disgruntled ANC cadres and ANC alliance organisations SACP, Sanco and Cosatu.

ANC provincial chairperson and premier Zweli Mkhize and other PEC members addressed meetings with different ANC structures yesterday about decisions taken at the PEC meeting.

Issues discussed include proposals for it to disband the region and to remove certain councillors.

The ANC protesters rejected the PEC’s decisions and are threatening to intensify their protest.

At the time of going to print PEC members Peggy Nkonyeni, Sihle Zikalala and Senzo Mchunu were addressing the protesters at the ANC offices.

Problems within the ANC in the region began during the nomination of candidates to represent the party at last month’s local government elections.

This culminated in the sit-in protest at the regional offices on May 30, and as a result the offices had been rendered unusable.

On June 11 Shelembe’s offices in the ANC office complex, which were being used by regional secretary Supa Zuma, were burnt down. The arsonist, Themba Mbona, who was Zuma’s driver, was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment. He said he set the fire at the behest of Shelembe, who was released on bail of R3 000 after appearing in court on Friday in connection with the blaze. Shelembe denied any involvement in the attack.

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