ANC eThekwini conference called off, again

2015-10-24 07:02

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Durban - The ANC's eThekwini elective conference, which was scheduled to take place at the weekend, has been called off, again. 

ANC provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala confirmed that the conference had been postponed. 

“The eThekwini regional conference has been rescheduled; the ANC Provincial Executive Council will confirm new dates.”

He said the conference would take place before the end of October.

“The preparations are on, the preparations are now above half way mark of expected branches,” said Zikalala.

eThekwini, the ANC’s biggest region, has been marred by controversy over the party failing to convene a successful conference.

The highly contested regional chairperson position is being fought between eThekwini mayor James Nxumalo and councillor Zandile Gumede, both members of the eThekwini executive council.

The eThekwini conference, scheduled to convene for the fourth time, was adjourned indefinitely in May after disgruntled members, believed to be in Gumede's faction, disrupted proceedings.

A eThekwini regional member, who asked not to be named, said he believed that Zikalala plotted the delays.  

Zikalala is believed to support Gumede while ANC chairperson Senzo Mchunu is believed to support Nxumalo.

A ANC member of the eThekwini region, who asked not to be named said: “Sihle is frustrating processes because he is under the illusion that his faction is going to take the province [when the party goes to the provincial congress]. The problem is that Zandile has been rejected by branches.

“Now the plan is to take the province come back and install Zandile by force. eThekwini is not ready to convene because only 41 branches have sat out of 103, we need 72 (70%) to meet threshold. There are too many disputes on both sides.”

Another party insider said, “All the branches supporting Zandile have sat. There are a lot of challenges in Nchanga, where James comes from. Some of the members were locked out during one of the branch general meetings that sat.”

Another said, “There are disputes and a lot of meddling from national. The Moses Mabhida region is the one that is driving the entire thing.”

Political analyst Protas Madlala said failing to convene a regional conference showed a lack of leadership from the ANC in the province.

“This all reflects back to poor leadership and the artificial creation of wards through the buying of membership.”

Madlala suspected that this was not happening only in eThekwini but in other regions around the country.

“The ANC has lost its direction, I am sure Thabo Mbeki is laughing where he is,” said Madlala.

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