Rifts in local Zuma camp

2008-09-02 00:00

The honeymoon is over for supporters of ANC president Jacob Zuma in the region covering the city and surrounding municipalities. Cracks are emerging as members begin contesting leadership positions at district and local levels.

Evidence of two camps emerged at the Moses Mabhida regional conference held in Plessislaer over the weekend. There was intense lobbying both behind the scenes and up front for two opposing lists of candidates.

Some branches protested that they did not have representatives at the regional executive committee (REC) and could not elect the candidates of their choice. These branches were found not to be in good standing after a branch audit.

The election was carried out by block vote and a casualty of the list process was Msunduzi Mayor Zanele Hlatshwayo, who was nominated for the position of treasurer on the list that did not make it. Hlatshwayo was also not elected a committee member.

The new leaders of the local REC are uMngeni Mayor Edward Dladla (chairman); Bheki Nzimande, who works in MEC Zweli Mkhize’s office (deputy chairman); trade unionist Supa Zuma (secretary); Nonhlanhla Msomi ( deputy secretary); and Msunduzi speaker Alpha Shelembe, who replaced Hlatshwayo as treasurer.

The list that did not make it proposed Cosatu provincial secretary Zet Luzipho as chairman, uMshwathi Mayor B.M. Gwala (deputy chairman), district speaker Hloni Zondi (secretary), Ray Mabena (deputy secretary) and Hlatshwayo as treasurer.

ANC KZN secretary-general Senzo Mchunu said there was nothing unusual as people do form lobbies when they go to conferences. He said the party is committed to unity; “we are all one within the ANC”.

Meanwhile, the ANC Youth League in the Harry Gwala region has expressed concern over the way that region’s conference, also held at the weekend, was run.

Thabiso Zulu, an ANC leader in the area, alleged that there was no proper auditing of the branches and that the membership of the branches was “manipulated”. He said the league therefore does not “recognise” the new leadership of the region.

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