ANC in eThikwini requests meeting with party’s top brass

2015-05-13 15:32
(File: ANC)

(File: ANC)

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Durban - ANC provincial secretary in KwaZulu-Natal Sihle Zikalala confirmed on Wednesday that the troubled region of eThekwini has requested a meeting with the party’s top brass.

“We are engaging with national at the moment on several issues surrounding the eThekwini conference. We have requested a meeting with head quarters and it is a matter of setting a date and a team coming down or we going up for the meeting,” said Zikalala.

The Mercury reported on Wednesday that President Jacob Zuma and the party’s top six including, secretary general Gwede Mantahse and national chairperson Baleka Mbete, will be in Durban next week in an effort to assist the province after it failed to rerun the conference last Saturday.

The eThekwini regional conference, the biggest region in the country, has been marred with controversy with the party failing to convene a successful conference.

EThekwini Mayor James Nxumalo and councillor Zandile Gumede are in the race for the highly contested position of regional chairmanship.


The conference, which was scheduled to convene for the fourth time, was adjourned indefinitely last week Saturday after disgruntled members, believed to be in Councillor Zandile Gumede's faction, disrupted proceedings.

The first two sittings were postponed and the third one, which was held in February, was declared null and void in March after aggrieved members disputed the outcome.

“We are engaging branches to try and iron out some of the issues that are preventing the conference from taking place. Processes are going very well,” said Zikalala.

A leader of one of the branches who asked to remain anonymous told News24 that branches met with the provincial leadership in Durban on Sunday.

“It became clear that province has assisted in one way or another in the failure to convene a successful conference.

“There were three issues that were discussed on Sunday. It was the issue of the three branches that were included despite failing the audit, it was the issue of removing Ward 37 on the eve of the latest conference and the presence of the provincial task team.

Confidence lost in provincial leadership

He said the province informed the branches that they would be meeting with the party’s leaders.

Another party insider said branches have lost confidence in the provincial leadership.

“What I know is that branches now want national to come and facilitate the administrative and political process of the conference because both the provincial secretary [Sihle Zikalala] and ANC regional chairperson [Senzo Mchunu] and their provincial tactical task team, led by Mike Mabuyakhulu have practically failed to convene the conference,” said the well-placed source.

It is believed that Zikalala is backing Gumede’s faction while Mchunu was supporting Nxumalo.

KwaZulu-Natal ANC spokesperson Sicelo Khuzwayo confirmed Sunday’s meeting between branches and provincial leadership.

“Remember after the press briefing last week Sihle made it clear that province would engage all the branches in the next couple of weeks to see what are the problems preventing the conference from being convened. Well, that process is now in full swing."

ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa was not immediately available to comment.

Read more on:    anc  |  jacob zuma  |  durban  |  politics

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