Blow for Zuma backers

2018-05-04 16:00
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PICS: Jacob Zuma's day in court

A large crowd of supporters and heavy police presence surrounded former president Jacob Zuma as he appeared in the Durban High Court on charges of corruption. See images here.

Supporters of former president Jacob Zuma in KwaZulu-Natal who were hoping to use the provincial conference to entrench their authority in the province have suffered a major blow.

This after the ANC’s national working committee (NWC) disqualified several regions in the province from participating in the provincial conference, making it impossible for the conference to go ahead.

According to sources within the NWC whose members visited the province a week ago to assess its readiness to go ahead with the conference, four of KZN’s 11 regions — Moses Mabhida, Lower South Coast, Harry Gwala and Abaquluzi — have been barred from participating in the conference.

“The NWC is of the view that these regions are currently facing serious challenges and therefore allowing them to hold regional conferences and participate in the provincial conference would have implications for the provincial conference,” an NWC member said.

“There is currently lots of tensions within the four regions, hence the decision to prevent them from going ahead.”

The disqualification of the four regions means that the provincial conference cannot go ahead as this would be against ANC guidelines, which stipulate that at least two-thirds of the province’s branches should participate in the conference for the gathering to meet the party’s requirements.

Zuma supporters in KZN currently control the provincial government as well as several municipalities.

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s supporters had been protesting against plans for the provincial conference to go ahead out of fear that Zuma backers would use government resources to sway the conference in their favour.

In Moses Mabhida, which includes areas around the Msunduzi Municipality, the regional conference was scheduled to start today.

While the NWC statement released by the ANC head office on Thursday made no mention of the specific regions that had been barred from holding regional conferences, it does, however, indicate that regions deemed not ready would not be allowed to go ahead with the gatherings.

“... the NWC approved the convening of conferences in regions and provinces that are ready and have fulfilled all the requisite processes for the hosting of such conferences,” the statement, released by the party’s national spokesperson, Pule Mabe, said.

ANC provincial leaders could not be reached for comment.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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