ANC to steer eThekwini leadership race

2014-10-19 15:00

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The ANC leadership in KwaZulu-Natal has taken over the running of several of its 11 regional elective conferences to prevent infighting over posts and ensure that things run smoothly.

The provincial leadership has also appointed a four-member task team to “assist” with holding conference and branch general meetings in the ANC’s largest and most powerful region, eThekwini.

Branch meetings in the region were frozen because the registration process was allegedly manipulated by the regional leadership.

ANC provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala told City Press on Friday the leadership had “taken over” the process of running conferences in Musa Dladla (north coast), the far north and eMalahleni (Newcastle) regions. Musa Dladla held its conference last weekend.

Zikalala said the leadership had appointed members to help in Moses Mabhida (Pietermaritzburg), which is going to conference next weekend, and eThekwini, where a four-member team headed by provincial executive committee member Mike Mabuyakhulu was in place.

“Our team is working with the region and supporting the regional executive, which is still leading the process. We have not taken over in eThekwini, unlike other regions,” Zikalala said.

But eThekwini branch members painted a bleaker picture, claiming the task team had audited the outcome of branch meetings and was investigating complaints in others about members being “removed” from the voters’ roll.

“We are satisfied that if the task team does its work and allows fair branch general meetings to be held, conference will go ahead in December without a problem. All we want is a fair process,” said the chairperson of one eThekwini branch. He asked not to be named because he’s not authorised to speak to the media.

“The process had been a problem. Comrades who were not seen as being sympathetic to some of the current leadership were being removed from the rolls and would not have been able to participate in the branch general meetings. Conference would have been flawed,” he said.

The eThekwini leadership race is expected to heat up next weekend at the branch meetings, where nominations for provincial posts will be made.

Sources say that chairperson Sibongiseni Dhlomo, who has battled to hold the region together in the face of political and business pressures, is unlikely to be nominated by many branches.

Other names being bandied around are those of Zandile Gumede, the current deputy, and Bheki Cele, a former chairperson and currently deputy minister of agriculture. Cele’s chances may be scuppered by the national ANC’s directive that NEC members cannot stand for positions in lower structures.

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