Ramaphosa cancels PMB speech as rival ANC factions remain tense

2019-01-03 16:27
President Cyril Ramaphosa.

President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Photo by Gallo Images / Sowetan / Veli Nhlapo)

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President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was scheduled to visit Pietermaritzburg next week as part of the ANC birthday celebrations, has changed his plans owing to simmering tensions within the party in the region.

Sources within the ANC’s KwaZulu-Natal provincial executive committee (PEC) told The Witness that Ramaphosa, who was supposed to address party supporters at the Harry Gwala stadium on January 8, will no longer come.

“It was felt that there was a real danger that the tensions within ANC members in the Moses Mabhida Region might degenerate into chaos and embarrass the president,” a source serving in the PEC said.

ANC regions across the country will hold rallies next Tuesday to celebrate the party’s launch on January 8, 1912.

The celebrations will culminate in a national rally, to be addressed by Ramaphosa, at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Ramaphosa’s presence at the Maritzburg rally would have bolstered the standing of the party’s regional task team (RTT), which is embroiled in a bitter power struggle with some of the ANC’s former regional leaders aligned to the Jacob Zuma camp.

Appointed by the PEC in October, the RTT has been struggling to stamp its authority on the region as Zuma supporters loyal to influential party regional figures including education MEC Mthandeni Dlungwane, former regional secretary Mzi Zuma and former provincial secretary, Super Zuma, has been campaigning against the regional structure.

The Zuma supporters, who are calling for a regional conference to elect new leaders to replace the RTT, which is led by former Msunduzi Municipality Exco member Thulani Xulu, staged a protest outside the ANC offices on Monday.

Xulu, who has the backing of the PEC and some branches in the region, said he was not aware of any decision around Ramaphosa’s visit to the region.

He said a meeting will be held today where everything will be finalised.

Apart from hosting the ANC birthday rally KZN will also be hosting the ANC national list conference on Friday.

ANC national executive committee (NEC) member, Nocawe Mafu, who has been deployed by the party’s top structure to oversee the organisation’s activities in the province, said the entire ANC NEC would descend on KZN today.

Asked whether the NEC was concerned about the instability in the Moses Mabhida Region, Mafu said the matter was being attended to.

The ANC in KZN is battling to heal divisions between supporters of Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  anc

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