ANC says eThekweni vote-buying claims unfounded

By admin
24 February 2015

Allegations of vote buying in the recent election to determine the chairperson of the ANC's largest region were unfounded, the ANC's eThekwini regional secretary said on Monday.

Mthunzi Dlamini, who was elected secretary of the region on 14 February, said he had not received any complaints regarding the election of James Nxumalo as chairperson of the ANC's eThekwini region.

The Times on Monday reported that ANC members were paid nearly R1m to vote for Nxumalo, according to a letter that had been sent by a Durban branch deputy chairperson to ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe and KwaZulu-Natal secretary Sihle Zikalala last week.

"I don't think it is possible. How are you going to pay someone and know that they vote for you with a secret vote? I think this is defamation of [Nxumalo's] character," said Dlamini.

Nxumalo, who is the current eThekwini metro mayor, defeated Zandile Gumede by 253 votes to 212 at the sixth regional conference held at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban on 14 February.

The sixth regional conference had to be postponed twice and the party's provincial executive had to step in to ensure that the conference ultimately took place and new office bearers were elected.

The region was polarised between those who supported Nxumalo and those who supported the region's then-treasurer Zandile Gumede.

Neither Gumede nor Nxumalo could be reached for comment.

According to the Times, Mbulelo Zulu, the deputy chairperson of the Ward 88 branch Umlazi, claimed in his letter to Mantashe and Zikalala, that on the first day of the conference each delegate had received R200 and then R2 000 to vote for "Comrade James and his collective".

They were promised they would receive a further R2 000 after they voted for Nxumalo, he reportedly claimed.