Zuma meets with PEC in KZN

2015-05-19 21:15


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Durban - eThekwini Metro Mayor James Nxumalo cancelling a mandatory executive council meeting on Tuesday appears to have come to nought, with President Jacob Zuma instead focusing his attention on the ANC's provincial executive committee.

The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal said in a statement issued on Tuesday evening: "The meeting scheduled to take place today [Tuesday] between the national officials of the African National Congress led by President Jacob Zuma and branches from eThekwini region has been postponed to a date that is still to be announced.

"The meeting, which forms part of the ANC’s engagement with provinces, was scheduled to take place this afternoon [Tuesday] but the leadership felt that there are still more organisational issues the national officials had to discuss with the provincial executive committee [PEC] before the meeting with branches takes place."

However, the party's leadership briefly told branch members who had gathered at Durban City Hall that once their "engagement" with the PEC was done, a date for another meeting would soon be set. 

"The PEC is currently meeting with the national officials where a variety of organisational issues are being discussed," the provincial ANC said.

"The meeting will also deal with issues of promoting unity that will see the ANC continuing to be a coherent and united organisation that has been championing the needs of the people for decades."

Opposition parties were outraged by Nxumalo cancelling the council meeting, stating that it was unfair that party politics were addressed on taxpayers' time and money.

News24 earlier revealed that Zuma, along with five other ANC top brass, were in Durban on Tuesday to deal with the party's internal organisational problems, including the eThekwini regional conference.

ANC provincial spokesperson, Sicelo Khuzwayo, said “obviously when there are such visits, if he is available, the president always attends”.

Khuzwayo said this was a planned visit and that Zuma was not only visiting to deal with the troubled eThekwini region, but also to sort out other internal issues facing the region.

“There is nothing unusual about the visit. The leadership has been visiting various provinces to address organisational issues facing the different provinces.

“The ANC scheduled this meeting a long time ago and even if the eThekwini regional conference was convened, we would have had this meeting; this is not a trouble-shooting meeting.”

When asked if the details of the meeting would be made public he said the party was not at liberty to divulge internal matters. “We will not be holding a briefing about today’s meeting because this is a strictly confidential organisational matter,” said Khuzwayo.  

The region, which is the ANC's biggest, has been marred by controversy over the party failing to convene a successful conference.

The highly challenged position of regional chairperson is being contested by eThekwini Mayor James Nxumalo and Councillor Zandile Gumede. Both are members of the eThekwini executive council.

Disrupted proceedings

The eThekwini conference, scheduled to convene for the fourth time, was adjourned indefinitely earlier this month after disgruntled members, believed to be in Gumede's faction, disrupted proceedings.

The cancellation of the executive meeting irked Exco members in the opposition parties.

There are 12 members in the executive, including the Speaker and the chief whip.

The ANC has the majority of seats while the DA has two seats and the National Freedom Party and IFP have one seat each.

eThekwini DA caucus leader, Zwakele Mncwango, said he received a SMS on Monday saying Exco had been postponed until May 26 due to Nxumalo’s unavailability.

“I told them that reason was not good enough because Deputy Mayor Nomvuzo Shabalala could chair the meeting. Shortly after that we received a second SMS informing us that Exco was postponed because the president was in the city,” said Mncwango.

The SMS, seen by News24, reads: "Please note the primary reason for the postponement of Exco meeting is that President Jacob Zuma is visiting the city tomorrow [on Tuesday].

Mncwango said, “We have Exco every Tuesday to deal with issues pertaining to the city. Today the mayor was due to deal with the serious issue of the city hiring members of the MKMVA to be security guards around the city.

“We always raise the issue of politicians who put their party obligations first. Why couldn’t they set a date that was not going to disturb running of the city? Why can’t the citizens of this city come first?

“What they have done irritates me and it is not the first time that they have done this,” said Mncwango.

He said there were tensions in the executive council as both Nxumalo and Gumede sit on the eThekwini executive council.

National Freedom Party exco member, Bongiwe Mtshali, said she also received the message.

“The eThekwini region really annoys us because we are dealing with issues affecting people and yet they decide to be absent.

“This whole thing is having a negative effect on service delivery. This is taxpayer’s money we are dealing with. What irritates me the most is mixing council issues and party problems,” said Mtshali.


Exco member Mdu Nkosi said the IFP questioned why the city postponed exco to meet the president without members of the opposition.

“We will ask the mayor in the next sitting what happened during the meeting because we assume that this meeting was called to address ANC factional fighting in the eThekwini region.

“If it was a meeting that had something with the day-to-day running of the eThekwini Municipality then we would have been invited to the meeting with the president,” said Nkosi.

Nkosi said he hoped the ANC would resolve its party issues for the sake of stability in the region.

eThekwini Municipality head of communications, Tozi Mthethwa, confirmed that exco was cancelled because the president was in the city.

When asked if the mayor was hosting the president in his capacity as the mayor of eThekwini or as the ANC chairperson of the eThekwini region she said: “Mayor James Nxumalo will be hosting the president in his capacity as the mayor of eThekwini.”

Read more on:    anc  |  jacob zuma  |  durban  |  politics

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