The ANC’S KwaZulu-Natal leadership says it will abide by the “no slate” ruling by the governing party’s national executive committee meeting in the run-up to its elective national conference in December.
However, it will hold discussions with its branches this weekend to discuss proposed “guidelines” for delegates to both the mid-year policy conference and the year-end elective meeting, at which sitting ANC president Jacob Zuma’s second term comes to an end.
Addressing a media briefing in Durban on Wednesday morning after a weekend ANC provincial executive committee meeting and lekgotla held in Richards Bay, provincial secretary Super Zuma said that KwaZulu-Natal’s representatives at the national executive committee had been part of the decision banning slates and ordering ANC structures to hold back on naming their choices for the party president.
“We respect each and every decision of the national executive committee. We were part of this decision,” Zuma said.
Zuma said the ANC had met with the leadership of all its alliance partners last Sunday to ensure the province was able to make a “decisive contribution” at the party’s 54th national conference.
His comments come against the backdrop of the ANC Youth League in the province endorsing former African Union chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as ANC president and the party’s influential eThekwini regional chairperson and Durban mayor Zandile Gumede publicly announcing that it was time for a woman to lead the party.
Zuma said the provincial leadership was “firmly convinced that the unity of the ANC is more important now than ever before during the course of our struggle for freedom”, and had taken unprecedented steps to consult its alliance partners.
The provincial ANC wanted to ensure that the national conference spent 98% of its time focused on policy issues rather than on the election of leadership.
“We don’t want to be preoccupied by issues of names but rather on how to build the movement,” Zuma said.
Saying that the leadership would continue to defend a high court challenge to the outcome of the KwaZulu-Natal provincial conference in 2015 by rebel branches, Zuma said that they would continue to engage with “everybody” but had appointed a new legal team, whom he refused to name.
Two weeks ago Ngubane and Wills, the provincial ANC’s lawyers, pulled out of the case without providing reasons to the high court, sparking claims from the branches that the leadership was trying to stall the case being heard until after the December conference.
Zuma said the ANC would convene a summit with provincial government in the next few week to ensure a “complete alignment and synergy” between ANC decisions and government programmes.