Zweli Mkhize steps down as KZN premier

2013-08-22 09:39

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KwaZulu-Natal premier Zweli Mkhize has resigned and will set step down at the end of the month.

His announcement follows months of speculation about whether he would complete his term as premier or take up his position as ANC treasurer-general in Luthuli House full time.

He has consistently denied that he would resign.

He was elected treasurer-general at the ANC’s conference in Mangaung last year. Although it isn’t a full-time position according to the party’s constitution, it is a crucial one ahead of the party’s costly campaign for next year’s elections.

He said his tasks as treasurer-general has prompted his decision, but there has been pressure from within the party on him to resign as premier.

The ANC’s chairman in the province, Senzo Mchunu, is tipped to take over from Mkhize.

Mkhize’s announcement follows the sacking of Limpopo premier Cassel Mathale earlier this month, and a Cabinet reshuffle last month.

The DA has previously expressed concern about Mkhize’s long absence from the provincial legislature.

ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said in a statement the party was grateful to Mkhize “for the immeasurable role he has played as premier of KwaZulu-Natal since 2009”.

Mkhize gave up his position as provincial ANC chairperson in March, when Senzo Mchunu was elected to replace him.

The ANC said Mkhize’s resignation was in line with the ANC’s constitution, which stipulates that the party’s treasurer-general was a full-time position.

Mkhize “has had to juggle between two positions, each with immense responsibilities, undoubtedly placing a strain on him as an individual”, Mthembu said.

As the treasurer-general Mkhize “is also part of the collective of officials tasked with the political guidance of our structures, the daily operations of the organisation, and during this period, leading and resourcing the elections campaign of the African National Congress”.

The ANC’s provincial executive committee is set to identify a premier candidate, Mthembu said. It is expected to be Mchunu.

» This story was updated after first published to add the ANC’s comment.

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