ANC decision on premier today?

2013-08-28 00:00

THE ANC’s top brass will meet in a special sitting today where KwaZulu-Natal’s new caretaker premier is expected to be decided.

ANC spokesperson Keith Khoza confirmed that the party’s national executive committee (NEC) would meet today.

However, he had “no idea” what was on the agenda.

Pressed to confirm whether the names of the ANC in KZN’s three preferred candidates would be discussed, he said: “I don’t know if it is to come up in the meeting. That is a separate process.”

Today’s meeting comes less than a week after Premier Zweli Mkhize announced he was stepping down on August 31 to take up a full-time role as party treasurer-general at Luthuli House.

President Jacob Zuma and Mkhize will return from an official visit to Malaysia in time to attend today’s special meeting.

The provincial ANC leadership met on Monday in line with the party’s constitution to decide on its three preferred candidates.

The Witness understands that ANC chairperson Senzo Mchunu, his deputy Willies Mchunu and legislature Speaker Peggy Nkonyeni were chosen.

However, party insiders said the inclusion of the names of Nkonyeni and Willies Mchunu was a mere formality to fulfil the party’s rule about submitting three names.

They said Senzo Mchunu was expected to take the top job, so that he would become the face of the ANC’s election campaign in KZN as both provincial party leader and premier.

However, it is not necessarily a done deal that Mchunu will be the party’s premier candidate, according to a well-placed source.

ANC provincial spokesperson Senzo Mkhize said the party would not comment on the names of the three candidates who have been forwarded to the NEC in order of preference.

“It’s a matter that is handled internally. The national leadership will deal with it and communicate its decision.”

Meanwhile, both the ANC’s tripartite alliance partners in the province said they had not been consulted about the preferred candidates.

Congress of SA Trade Union provincial secretary Zet Luzipo said the labour federation was aware that the final decision on who should become the caretaker premier remained with the ANC’s national leadership.

“At this stage we are mindful that person will take us to the elections next year,” Luzipo said.

SACP provincial boss Themba Mthembu previously told The Witness that although the ruling party was not obliged to consult its alliance partners, it was normal for the ANC to hear its views on deployment matters.

“Our official position is that we will work with any candidate forwarded by the ANC.

“We will not have a problem as long as the relationship in terms of the alliance is not affected,” Mthembu said.

• mayibongwe..maqhina@witness.co.za

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