Push to oust KZN cabinet

2018-03-27 13:30

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A powerful bloc within the ANC’s influential National Executive Committee (NEC) is pushing for the dismissal of the entire KwaZulu-Natal provincial cabinet as a solution to the province’s current internal party squabbles.

“There are such views within the NEC; people feel that it would be grossly unfair to allow a faction which is part of the suspended Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) to be allowed to continue occupying cabinet positions,” a source within the NEC said.

All the MECs serving in the current provincial cabinet are members of the suspended PEC that supported former AU chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma during last year’s ANC presidential race won by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The PEC’s suspension came about after the Pietermaritzburg high court found the structure to be illegal as it had been elected during the “illegitimate” 2015 provincial conference.

“We suspended the PEC on the basis of that court judgment and to us, allowing a provincial cabinet that has been deployed by a structure perceived by many to be illegitimate would be irresponsible.

“At the very least what would be acceptable to us is an inclusive cabinet comprising of members from both camps,” another NEC member said.

Two months ago the NEC replaced the suspended PEC with a Provincial Interim Committee (PIC) comprising of members from both the Ramaphosa and the Dlamini-Zuma faction. One of the PIC’s tasks was to prepare for a fresh provincial conference scheduled to take place next month.

However, the NEC appears to have changed tactics and now wants the provincial conference to be held after next year’s national general elections.

At its two-day meeting that took place over the weekend, the NEC resolved that a task team should be appointed to look into the “feasibility” of holding the provincial conference before the general elections.

“Our view is that power is currently concentrated on the suspended PEC, which is controlling the provincial cabinet and therefore has access to state resources. It is a well-known fact that having access to government resources puts one at a huge advantage when it comes to any elective conference.

“I can tell you now those wanting next month’s provincial conference to go ahead will not prevail. The conference will not be allowed to continue as it has the potential to cause deep divisions in the province ahead of next year’s national elections,” the NEC member said.

However, the ANC in the eThekwini region, which was one of Dlamini-Zuma’s strongest support bases during the party’s presidential race, said it wants the conference to go ahead next month as planned.

“It’s important to go into a national elections with a proper structure that has the support of the branches. Voters don’t just vote for a political party, they also want to know who their representatives in government would be should their preferred political party win the elections,” ANC regional secretary Bheki Ntuli said.

Xolani Dube, a political analyst from the Xubera Institute for Research and Development, said there were strong signs within the ANC that next month’s provincial conference will not go ahead as planned. “It is very likely that the provincial conference would only take place after next year’s general elections. There is also a possibility that the current provincial cabinet could be dissolved as part of attempts by the ANC top leadership to level the playing fields,” he said.

The co-ordinator of the ANC Provincial Interim Committee (PIC) Sihle Zikalala, who is also the chairperson of the suspended PEC, could not be reached for comment.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  anc nec

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