Race for KZN premier in full swing

2013-03-23 00:00

KWAZULU-NATAL ANC regional secretaries were locked up in a meeting last night in an apparent last minute attempt to find a compromise on the leadership race for the party’s provincial chairman.

At the time of going to press neither Transport MEC Willies Mchunu nor Education MEC Senzo Mchunu had stepped down from the race to succeed outgoing chairman Zweli Mkhize.

It is understood that party leaders were hoping that the vacant chairman position be not contested to safeguard unity of the organisation.

Addressing the provincial general council (PGC) in Durban, Mkhize said the issue of the contest among the Mchunus had been discussed by the leadership. “The secretaries have worked out on how democracy will take its course,” he told delegates.

Speaking at the PGC, President Jacob Zuma called for unity. “The ANC is not about fighting for positions. It is about dedication, commitment and sacrifice.”

However, he said contest among the Mchunus reminded him of when he was in a similar situation when no one was willing to step down in their group. He recalled when he contested the chairmanship against the late Harry Gwala and Justice Minister Jeff Radebe — people whom he had worked with for a long time.

“We were in the same university. Comrades wanted to separate the three. One of the three won. I can’t remember the name,” he said to laughter from delegates when he referred to how he had won through a secret ballot.

He said the Mchunus, unrelated to one another, were in the same situation.

Zuma said just like him, Gwala and Radebe, they had all along worked together and were now all of a sudden vying for the same position.

“They have been like twins. They worked together all the time. These are the comrades the delegates feel should lead,” Zuma said.

He said there was nothing unusual in the Mchunus being nominated for the same leadership position.

However, Zuma said regardless of the outcome of the vote, all should accept the outcome and the duo should still work together. Earlier Zuma quietly arrived while the PGC was in progress with Willies Mchunu calling the delegates to create a “conference mood”. He was apparently referring to the lack of vibrant singing of revolutionary songs.

But as soon as Zuma arrived delegates livened up and one delegate from the Moses Mabhida region started singing NguMsholozi lo, Zangebambona (this is msholozi; they have never seen him) and the whole house broke into song.

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