The ANC in KwaZulu Natal has included former eThekwini chairperson Zandile Gumede in its regional task team (RTT) to prepare the embattled region for its upcoming elective conference.
Party spokesperson Ricardo Mthembu told News24 that the provincial working committee had resolved issues previously raised over its RTT by those aligned to Gumede.
Gumede’s regional executive committee was disbanded in June after failing to go to conference last year.
Mthembu said the new task team had to take the region to conference by the end of this year. It comprises of Mluleki Ndobe as coordinator, Bheki Ntuli as his deputy, Lwazi Mshengu as convenor, and Gumede as deputy convenor.
Ndobe, who is the deputy speaker of the legislature, was previously arrested in connection with the murder of Sindiso Magaqa, but charges were provisionally dropped.
According to sources, Gumede - who's been known to be close to former president Jacob Zuma - will go head-to-head with another RTT member, Thabani Nyawose.
Nyawose is a branch leader and has a long history of being involved in the student movement and the ANC Youth League.
Nyawose is also believed to be close to current ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa and former KwaZulu-Natal ANC chairperson Senzo Mchunu.
It also claimed by some in the region that his ascendency could lead to better relations between the powerful region and its provincial leadership structure.
Gumede is seen in some circles as a controversial figure. The former eThekwini mayor is out on R50 000 bail, after being arrested earlier this year on corruption charges relating to a R208m Durban solid waste tender. She has also been blamed for poor performance in the metro.
Businessman Musa Nciki is said to have teamed up with the Gumede in her bid to return to the helm. He is expected to contest the regional secretary position.
Former regional secretary Bheki Ntuli, who is reported to be on Nyawose's slate, also wants to retain to his old position.
While the conference was initially expected to take place in October, there is no set date as yet, with Mthembu saying the issue would be resolved after branches were introduced to the amended RTT.
"We haven't changed the roadmap, but there are some issues. The new RTT has to ensure that it looks at all processes, membership audits, renewals and then submit a report and we will take it from there," said Mthembu.