Premier tipped for Parliament

2009-02-26 00:00

KZN Premier S’bu Ndebele has not been cast into the political wilderness and he may be on his way to the national Parliament after the 2009 elections.

Ndebele’s name initially did not feature on any of the election candidate lists released by the ANC.

However, the party said this was an error. At a press briefing yesterday, KZN ANC chairman Dr Zweli Mkhize said that Ndebele was number 31 on the national list and that his profile has attracted attention.

Facing a more uncertain political future are city residents and national Parliamentarians Yunus Carrim and Dikobe Ben Martins. Their names do not appear in the top hundred of the ANC’s national candidate list. According to sources, their names hover much lower down.

Carrim was chairman of the committee on Justice and Constitutional Development, which oversaw the dissolution of the Scorpions. He previously chaired committees for public enterprises and local government. Martins chaired the Trade and Industry Portfolio Committee. The Witness could not reach Martins yesterday and when contacted, Carrim said he did not think it was appropriate for him to comment.

Ruth Bhengu, who was embroiled in the Travelgate scandal and who is chairwoman of the South African National Civics Organisation (Sanco), may return to Parliament. She features at number 96 on the national list.

The provincial candidate list held fewer surprises. Mkhize featured top of the list, strengthening speculation that he will be KZN’s next premier. Education MEC Ina Cronjé proved the next most popular at number two on the list. Other top slots went to provincial secretary-general, Senzo Mchunu (number three); Health MEC Peggy Nkonyeni (number four), who is currently facing corruption charges; and Speaker in the Legislature, Willies Mchunu.

A number of currently serving MPLs also feature prominently on the list including MEC for Transport and Community Safety, Bheki Cele (number seven) and MEC for Local Government, Mike Mabuyakhulu (number nine). High up on the provincial list of 80 names is MEC for Agriculture, Mtholephi Mthimkhulu (number 19), long perceived as an ally of former President Thabo Mbeki.

Former Pietermaritzburg deputy mayor Dr Makhosi Khoza makes a political comeback and features at number 14 on the provincial list. Khoza, who has since completed a doctorate, has worked for various organisations including the South African Local Government Association.

Chatsworth ANC ward councillor and former activist Maggie Govender is at number 20. She is one of four councillors who made it to the list. According to Mchunu, the ANC took a decision not to move councillors and disrupt local government.

Councillor Gloria Borman (eThekwini) is on the province to national list. Ravi Pillay, Speaker in the Ugu Municipality, and ANC KZN Youth League chairman and Bhambayi councillor Mxolisi Kaunda are on the provincial list.

Heading the provincial to national list are businessman Sizani Dlamini and former Natal unrest monitor Roy Ainsley.

Both Mkhize and Mchunu expressed satisfaction that choosing candidates for the party went smoothly.

They stressed that the first 25 names on the list were arrived at by voting from the branches. These names reflect the voting process and were not altered, they said.

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