eThekwini, the ANC’s biggest region in KwaZulu-Natal, quietly held a regional general council on Thursday in Durban to determine the names of party leaders to support at this weekend’s provincial lecture conference starting on Friday.
The regional general council only ended at around 5am on Friday and, according to insiders, the region is expected to back Siboniso Duma (KwaZulu-Natal ANC MPL) for provincial chairperson, Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu (KwaZulu-Natal health MEC) as his deputy, Bheki Mtolo (Kokstad Local Municipality mayor) as the provincial secretary, Sipho Hlomuka (KwaZulu-Natal cooperative governance and traditional affairs MEC) as his deputy and Zandile Gumede (former eThekwini mayor) as the treasurer.
The nomination of Gumede translated into the region not backing anyone because she was affected by the step-aside rule since she had a pending criminal matter before the court.
eThekwini will have 265 voting delegates out of the 1 617 delegates at the provincial conference to be held at the Olive Convention Centre. The region’s choices were expected to set the mood for the other 10 regions in the province.
City Press was told that the line-up was supported by six other regions, namely Mzala Nxumalo in Vryheid - the home region of Simelane-Zulu; Harry Gwala in Ixopo - the home region of Mtolo; Josiah Gumede in Ladysmith - the home region of Hlomuka, as well as eMalahleni in Newcastle; Musa Dladla in Empangeni and Lower South Coast in Port Shepstone.
“The plan is to engage the remaining four regions to come up with a candidate for treasurer in a bid to ensure a fully consensus slate,” said an insider.
The person said the three names from the line-up, Simelani-Zulu, Mtolo and Hlomuka, were already firmed up across the four regions inland, including Harry Gwala, eMalahleni, Josiah Gumede and Mzala Nxumalo.
The insider added:
The other outstanding regions were Moses Mabhida in Pietermaritzburg, Nkosi Bhambatha in Greytown, General Gizenga Mpanza in KwaDukuza and Far North in Umkhanyakude. The offer on the table is for these regions to provide a name for the provincial treasurer post.