Political big guns descend on KZN

2015-04-24 15:34
Julius Malema (File: Foto24)

Julius Malema (File: Foto24) ((Denvor De Wee, Foto24))

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Durban - The battle is on for the political heart and soul of President Jacob Zuma’s home province with the country’s three largest parties sending in the big guns this weekend.

Julius Malema, “commander-in-chief” of the EFF, landed in the province on Thursday and will end a series of meetings with students and communities with a rally in KwaMashu on Sunday.

The DA is holding its KwaZulu-Natal provincial congress in Richards Bay where Mmusi Maimane and James Wilmot are expected to address delegates.

Maimane has announced his candidacy to lead the party following Helen Zille’s announcement earlier this month that she was stepping down as party leader.

While Wilmot has yet to show his intentions, speculation is rife that he will challenge Maimane for the top post in the party.

Provincially, the KwaZulu-Natal leader of the party, Sizwe Mchunu faces a challenge from the party’s eThekwini caucus leader Zwakele Mncwango.

In the wake of Malema’s visit and the DA provincial congress, the ANC issued a statement headlined “ANC deploys heavyweights in KwaZulu-Natal this weekend”.

The statement issued by the ANC’s provincial media officer Sicelo Khuzway said the deployment was in line with the party’s “mandate of being with the people at all times”.

But at the same time, the statement warned that: “Opposition parties are already feeling the winds blowing with a tsunami from afar and are probably looking for tiny spaces to hibernate”.

Former national police minister Bheki Cele and provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala were expected on Friday to lead a march against xenophobia in Ladysmith’s Ezakheni township, while the national Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete  would address a “cadre’s forum” in Greytown on Saturday.

On Sunday she is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at a rally in Groutville on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast.

In Mtubatuba – less than an hour’s drive from the DA conference in Richards Bay – KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu and Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula will be part of an ANC soccer team that on Sunday will lock horns with some local teams.

The heavy political weekend will end with Malema in KwaMashu where his comments can expect to draw some fire.

On Thursday in a radio interview with Gagasi FM he dismissed the DA as a "spent force" following Zille’s decision to step down and said that Maimane was "better suited to being a priest".

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  eff  |  jacob zuma  |  julius malema  |  mmusi maimane  |  durban  |  politics

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