Former Durban mayor Zandile Gumede has been elected as chairperson of the ANC’s eThekwini region in a landslide victory for her unity and continuity slate.
Gumede, who was elected in absentia as she is impacted by the ANC’s step-aside rule, received 210 votes while her opponent, eThekwini speaker Thabani Nyawose, received 181.
Gumede’s slate, which is backed by the ANC’s radical economic transformation faction, made a clean sweep of the top five posts in the region, one of the most influential in the country.
Thembo Ntuli, who stood as her deputy, beat Mthunzi Dlamini by 205 votes to 186 while Musa Nciki, the slate’s candidate for regional secretary, beat Bheki Ntuli by 217 votes to 174.
The deputy secretary’s position was won by Nkosenhle Madlala, with 211 votes, defeating Thanduxolo Sabelo, with 179 votes. Nomthandazo Shabalala becomes secretary with 205 votes over Ntokozo Sibiya, who got 186 votes.
Neither Shabalala nor Gumede were allowed to attend the conference as they are out on bail for corruption and will go on trial next month over the R400-million Durban Solid Waste tender.
Neither will be able to take up their ANC duties until their court case is completed.
The vote for the top six posts came after a 24-hour delay in the conference going ahead because of a battle over credentials as to who was eligible to stand for election.
The win for the Gumede slate is a major boost for the radical economic transformation faction in KwaZulu-Natal, which goes into its provincial conference next month.
It also strengthens the faction’s hand going into the national conference, where eThekwini has historically played a significant role.
However, the margins between the two factions means that eThekwini and the province — will not go into the national conference as a united block behind the radical economic transformation faction, which is yet to name a presidential candidate.
Elections for the rest of the eThekwini regional executive committee were set to take place later on Sunday night.