Willies Mchunu declines nomination as premier

2014-05-19 00:00

THE ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has had to find a replacement at the weekend for one of the three people nominated as candidates to become premier.

The Witness understands that incumbent premier and ANC provincial chairperson Senzu Mchunu, Education MEC and ANC provincial treasurer Peggy Nkonyeni, and Transport MEC and ANC deputy provincial chairperson Willies Mchunu were initially nominated by the provincial working committee (PWC) ahead of last Friday’s meeting of provincial and regional leaders. This was in line with ANC policy that provinces submit three names, in order of preference, to the Luthuli House, where the successful candidate is decided.

However, sources said Willies Mchunu had declined his nomination, prompting the search for a replacement candidate.

Currently the candidate list for the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature is headed by Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC and ANC deputy provincial secretary Nomusa Dube-Ncube, followed by Willies Mchunu and Finance MEC Ina Cronje.

However, the placement of an individual on the candidates’ list does not make him or her an automatic choice for the premier’s position.

Sources said Willies Mchunu’s decision had led to strong campaigning for Dube-Ncube’s name to be included on the list submitted to the ANC headquarters.

The name of the third candidate could not be established yesterday.

The ANC’s national executive committee is expected to meet today and tomorrow to consider the appointment of premiers and leaders for Parliament and legislatures, among other things.

The nominations for KZN premier come almost eight months after Senzo Mchunu was appointed to replace Zweli Mkhize, who resigned as premier to take up his ANC treasurer-general position on a full-time basis.

It is understood that Senzo Mchunu was set to top the list of names submitted after leading a successful provincial election campaign, and also to ensure that there was continuity within the administration.

He already enjoys backing from the ANC’s alliance partners — Cosatu and the SACP — who strongly believe there is a need for continuity in the political leadership of the KZN administration.

The premiership race also comes almost four months after reports emerged of plans being engineered to oust Senzo Mchunu as premier after the elections.

The reports had fingered a faction allegedly led by provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala and Musa Dladla region chairperson Thulani Mashaba.

Both had vehemently denied that they were behind moves to oust Mchunu and back another candidate.

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