Disunity set to hit ANC

2014-01-10 00:00

THE reports about brewing divisions within the ANC leadership in KwaZulu-Natal may pose problems when it campaigns for the upcoming general elections, according to political analysts.

Independent political analyst Somadoda Fikeni said yesterday the moment there were rumours of disunity in a party — whether they were tested or not — this would discourage a certain margin of voters from voting for the affected party.

“If there is a perception that the KZN ANC is not united, you will have a fraction [of voters] that may look elsewhere for a political home. These might be people who may be disenchanted with the IFP, NFP or any other small party,” Fikeni said.

Zakhele Ndlovu, a University of KwaZulu-Natal political science lecturer, said the reports about divisions did not bode well for the ruling party.

“The timing of it is not good considering that the elections are in just a few months’ time,” Ndlovu said.

He said when the ANC took over the provincial government in 2004 (from the IFP), provincial chairperson Zweli Mkhize became the premier.

“It is curious why all of a sudden Senzo is not given a chance to be the premier. Most people expect him to be retained. This talk is not good and is raising doubts whether ANC will go the election united,” Ndlovu added.

Their comments came after weekend reports that there were plans engineered by some leaders to oust ANC chairperson Senzo Mchunu as the premier after the general elections.

The report fingered a faction, allegedly led by provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala and the Musa Dladla regional chairperson Thulani Mashaba, while Mchunu denied knowledge of it.

Both Zikalala and Mashaba have vehemently denied claims that they were behind moves to oust Mchunu and back another candidate.

The reports about the possible ousting of Mchunu come almost four months after he took over from his predecessor Zweli Mkhize, who has taken up the post as ANC treasurer-general at Luthuli House on a full-time basis.

The rumours come at a time when the provincial ANC branch wants to help the ruling party win two-thirds at national polls and 70% in the provincial legislature.

In a twist of events, it has emerged that a letter was sent to Luthuli House in August 2013 detailing corruption allegations in several municipalities under the jurisdiction of the uThungulu District Municipality.

This happens against the backdrop of the in-fighting over a few years ago within the region with Mchunu’s wife, Thembeka, who is the mayor, threatened with removal from office, and provincial leadership allegedly taking no action on her complaints.

Provincial spokesperson Senzo Mkhize said the reports about divisions would not affect the party’s campaign.

“As the ANC we view these [claims of divisions among leaders] as fabrications. There is no truth in them. It is absolutely nonsense,” Mkhize said.

“There is no rift among the leadership. There is no group campaigning for comrade Senzo not to be premier after the elections,” Mkhize said.

He also said the report was a strategy to disorganise and create disunity in the ANC, and that they do not view it seriously at all.

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