Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

ANC factionalism tears at eThekwini in fight for top seat


KwaZulu-Natal premier and ANC provincial chairperson Senzo Mchunu says he is worried about members joining the party not to serve the organisation or the people, but to plunder state resources.

“Before 1994 people [joining the party] were motivated by different sets of things close to the values and traditions of the ANC; post-1994 some people are joining because of material [things], love for positions and basking in glory,” Mchunu told the M&G this week.

“We should use power to drive justice and welfare of the people, not to do corruption,” he said, commenting on the fierce ANC eThekwini leadership contest that has seen the regional conference postponed for the fourth time after clashes between supporters of Durban mayor James Nxumalo and the ANC’s former regional treasurer Zandile Gumede.

Whoever wins eThekwini’s top seat will not only control the ANC’s influential region, but will also influence the election of provincial leaders in September and national ANC leaders at the party’s elective conference in 2017.

Nxumalo and his supporters are said to back Mchunu for re-election as provincial chairperson whereas Gumede and her supporters apparently back ANC provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala to replace Mchunu. The Gumede group wants transport MEC Willies Mchunu as Zikalala’s deputy and North Coast regional chairperson Thulani Mashaba as provincial secretary. At the national level in 2017 this camp wants ANC treasurer general Zweli Mkhize as ANC deputy president and Cyril Ramaphosa as president. Mchunu’s supporters are said to back ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe for deputy president.

“Gwede was close to Senzo [Mchunu], but he [Mchunu] was not happy with [Mantashe’s] … decision to nullify the results of the [March] eThekwini conference, especially after the concerns raised by ANC branches were openly discussed and resolved in that conference,” said a KwaZulu-Natal leader, who asked to remain anonymous.

The provincial leader believes Mantashe’s decision to nullify the election results weakened Mchunu.

Mchunu denied he was unhappy with Mantashe’s decision and that there was tension between him and Zikalala. He said he was not worried about any list of preferred provincial leaders that excludes him.

“It’s not time for nominations … No legitimate structure of the ANC would have produced that list. The majority of ANC members are disciplined … Some want us to nominate [leaders] throughout the year. We have to accept those,” said Mchunu.

Zikalala said he had not seen the list that proposes him as the next provincial chairperson. “[The list has] no basis. No one has the right to discuss provincial conference,” said Zikalala.

Asked whether he would accept nomination as provincial chair, he said that was “neither here nor there”. He said the ANC’s provincial leadership would decide the date for another eThekwini conference after meeting the ANC this weekend.

The ANC’s leaders concede that political factionalism affects eThekwini negatively but Mantashe didn’t want to admit anything publicly. 

“What must we be worried about? We must have hope. When you lose hope you are guided by fear and worry and then you can’t move forward,” Mantashe said.

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Matuma Letsoala
Guest Author

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

‘The children cannot cope any more’: Suicide in Calvinia highlights...

How Covid-19 has intensified the physical and emotional burdens placed on children’s shoulders.

Capitec Bank flies high above Viceroy’s arrow

The bank took a knock after being labelled a loan shark by the short seller, but this has not stymied its growth

More top stories

Covid-19: No vaccine booster shots needed yet

Scientists agree it is important to get most of the population vaccinated before giving booster jabs

The convenient myth of an Africa spared from Covid-19

There are few, if any, studies to support Pfizer chief executive’s assertion that the global south would be more vaccine-hesitant than the north

Council wants Hawks, SIU probe into BAT’s Zimbabwe scandal

The cigarette maker has been accused of giving up to $500 000 in bribes and spying on competitors
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×