Voting begins at ANC eThekwini conference following tensions between Gumede, Nyawose supporters

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Zandile Gumede supporters arriving at the conference. (Twitter screengrab, @QaanitahHunter)
Zandile Gumede supporters arriving at the conference. (Twitter screengrab, @QaanitahHunter)
  • Nominations for the leadership of the ANC in eThekwini took place late on Sunday. 
  • Zandile Gumede and Thabani Nyawose were nominated for the regional chairperson position. 
  • The conference was stalled for hours over who should be allowed to vote. 

Voting for the ANC's eThekwini conference finally kicked off on Sunday afternoon, more than 24 hours after it was meant to take place, following disruptions and debate over who should be allowed to vote.

The nomination process eventually took place after 15:00 on Sunday. Former mayor Zandile Gumede was nominated for the position of regional chairperson along with current speaker Thabani Nyawose. 

Gumede was not present because she was made to step aside due to the criminal charges she faces, but wrote a letter to accept her nomination, saying she was ready to serve the ANC. 

"I am always available and willing to serve the ANC in any position," read her letter. 

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - NOVEMBER 24: Thabani Nyawos
Thabani Nyawose, speaker of eThekwini Municipality.

At least two more nominees on Gumede's slate were also not present as a result of having stepped aside and had to accept nomination via emails.

Gumede's slate features Themba Ntuli as deputy chairperson, Musa Nciki as regional secretary, Nkosenhle Madlala as deputy, and Nomthandazo Shabalala as treasurer.

Standing against Gumede is Nyawose.

READ | ANC eThekwini conference hangs in balance amid debate over who should be allowed to vote

Nyawose is a supporter of ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa, and his victory in the biggest region in the ANC could boost the latter's chances of a second term. 

His slate features Mthunzi Dlamini as deputy chairperson, Bheki Ntuli as secretary, Thanduxolo Sabelo as deputy, and Ntokozo Sibiya as treasurer. They all met the threshold for nomination. 

Supporters of the Nyawose slate ululated and clapped when Ntuli accepted the nomination but it was made known by officials he would not be allowed to vote as a member of the regional task team (RTT). 


Meanwhile, a Gumede win would be a boost for former health minister Zweli Mkhize and those aligned to him, including suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule. 

The conference adjourned at 04:00 on Sunday after disputes about the credentials of delegates to the conference went unresolved. 

On Sunday afternoon, the conference resumed amid threats it would fall apart as a result of the impasse. 

The crux of the debate was whether a tentative RTT should be allowed to vote in the conference. 

Former eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede.
Former eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede.

The impasse continued into Sunday afternoon following an intervention from the ANC's national leadership who agreed the RTT should not be allowed to vote.

Gumede's faction has been referred to as the radical economic transformation (RET) faction and Nyawose's has been dubbed the renew, revive and unite (RRU) faction.

It is understood Nyawose's supporters were vehemently behind the push for RTT members to be allowed to vote. 

Sources at the conference said the fight over who should be allowed to vote was indicative of how high the stakes were.

ANC national executive committee members David Masondo, Lindiwe Sisulu, Dakota Legoete and Pule Mabe attended the conference. 

The conference was meant to end on Sunday evening. 


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