Ex-premier Senzo Mchunu a bitter attention seeker – KZN ANC

2017-01-18 13:45
Former KwaZulu-Natal ANC chair Senzo Mchunu. (Tebogo Letsie, file)

Former KwaZulu-Natal ANC chair Senzo Mchunu. (Tebogo Letsie, file)

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Durban - Former KwaZulu-Natal premier Senzo Mchunu "is not just ambitious, he is also desperate for attention", the ANC in the province said on Wednesday after Mchunu issued a stern warning against President Jacob Zuma and the current leadership.

"He is no longer ambitious, he has lost the ability to contain his own ambition and is now a desperate man," said provincial spokesperson Mdumiseni Ntuli on Wednesday.

He was responding to a statement Mchunu made during an exclusive interview with Eyewitness News.

Mchunu told the news site that he was unhappy with the current state of the ANC and could not say that Zuma was still a good leader for the party.

He was quoted as saying: "I think people were just scrambling for anything they could lay their hands on" and that "we do need to change direction".

He warned that, "if things continue in the direction they are going, the ANC will lose elections in 2019".

He also said he did "not see why deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa shouldn’t be next in line to lead the organisation".

"Currently, there is a deputy president who is Cyril Ramaphosa, who is eligible," he added.

The ANC in the province said it was incorrect for the former premier, who was forced to resign in 2016, to make such statements in the media.

READ: Media should be wary of ANC propaganda war

'Deep sense of bitterness'

Mchunu lost his position as provincial chairperson to Sihle Zikalala during the provincial elective conference in November 2015. Disgruntled supporters of Mchunu are currently challenging the outcomes of the conference in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg.

The matter is expected to be heard in court in February.

"The problem with him [Mchunu] is the way he is entering the succession debate on the future of the ANC, it is underlined by a deep sense of bitterness.

"Every time he talks about the ANC and the future of the ANC, he cannot graduate from the fact that he was removed as a leader..."

Ntuli said Mchunu knew well that party matters should be discussed internally in the branches and that he should express his views at ANC meetings, and not in the media.

"But he must divorce his bitterness from the discussion of the future of the party."

Ntuli said Mchunu’s utterances were premature, adding that Zuma had told members, during the party’s provincial 105th anniversary celebration in KwaDukuza at the weekend, to refrain from discussing the succession debate in the media.

"He said it was wrong for the Women’s League to make pronouncements on Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. He said we need to allow the internal processes of the organisation to take place. So what Senzo is doing, and many others like him, is destroying the centrality of the National Executive Committee."

READ: ANC succession battle: Stop raising names, says Duarte


Ntuli said that when the national leadership had taken a directive on a matter, "we all have to comply".

He described Mchunu’s behaviour as ill-disciplined.

On Mchunu’s utterances on Zuma, Ntuli said: "If you say we need a change in direction, the direction must be about the policy orientation... To equate a change in direction to a change of a leader, is being narrow.

"There may be weaknesses that he and many other comrades are seeing about the manner in which the current leadership, under President Zuma, has led the movement, but when you call for a direction change, it must be rooted on the policy perspective."

He said Mchunu should not call for a change in direction, "and yet you are telling us about individuals".

"Does the ascendance of a deputy president to become president constitute on its own a change of direction? A change in direction is dealing with the land question differently and on industrialisation, that is a change in direction."

He said discussions were taking place internally on who the province would be backing, as it prepares for the policy and elective conferences taking place in June and December, respectively.

"We are still waiting for NEC to say that we can make public pronouncements on who we will be backing. We are still in discussion and assessing the current leadership of the NEC, looking at the different challenges that we have gone through in the past five years and imagining the kind and quality leader that we need in order to steer the movement going forward."

KwaZulu-Natal, which is currently divided, will have to show a united front when it goes to the conferences, but Ntuli said he believed that the province would overcome its challenges and unite.

"There will be some strong views and we may not ultimately agree with the view of the majority… but what we will not tolerate, is the people who intend tearing the movement apart and bringing it into disrepute."

He said members of the ANC should express their views internally.

“When you go out into the public, you are creating an impression that you do not have time to discuss the matter internally. There is no family that will tolerate someone who brings it into disrepute," said Ntuli.

Read more on:    anc  |  senzo mchunu  |  durban  |  politics 2017

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