The affected regions appear to be torn between support for Cyril Ramaphosa and Zweli Mkhize.
DURBAN – The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has been forced to postpone elective conferences in the three remaining regions due to their failure to settle disputes and meet the required 70% threshold.
The elective conferences in Mzala Nxumalo (Zululand), Musa Dladla (King Cetshwayo District) and Inkosi Bhambatha (Umzinyathi) were supposed to have been held along with eThekwini and Harry Gwala last week but had to be postponed.
ANC provincial spokesperson Nhlakanipho Ntombela said these regions were experiencing problems meeting the 70% threshold of branches, which is required by the party’s constitution for conferences to legitimately sit.
The Mzala Nxumalo region, which includes Abaqulusi, Ulundi, Dumbe, Pongola, Nongoma and Ulundi municipalities, is the party’s third-biggest region with 95 branches after eThekwini with 111 and Musa Dladla with 107.
It needed about 60 branches to form a quorum. The regional secretary Zakhele Buthelezi said the region had met the threshold but delays were caused by outstanding branch disputes which have not been settled. He refused to give details of the nature of the disputes and the number of branches affected, saying he was not at liberty to disclose such information.
In this region, that previously supported President Cyril Ramaphosa, there were now alleged divisions with one slate said to be backing Dr Zweli Mkhize while the other wants Ramaphosa to have a second term as ANC president.
In the slates circulating on social media, former Pongola mayor and current chairperson Sbu Mhlongo returns as chairperson on one slate while on the other Zululand Municipality councillor Mpume Zulu appears as chairperson. This slate has Zakhele Buthelezi returning as secretary.
In Musa Dladla, which covers the Umlalazi (Eshowe), uMhlathuze (Richards Bay), Nkandla, Mthonjaneni (Melmoth) and Mfolozi municipalities there are also two slates that are said to be pitting Ramaphosa against Mkhize. The contest is expected to be between Thembeka Mchunu and Musa Cebekhulu. Mchunu is the wife of Minister of Water and Sanitation Senzo Mchunu.
Mchunu’s slate is associated with Ramaphosa while Cebekhulu’s faction is expected to endorse Mkhize for president. The region is set to hold its conference at the end of the month also due to its failure to meet the 70% threshold.
In the Inkosi Bhambatha region, which is composed of the Mvoti (Greytown), Msinga, Endumeni (Dundee) and Nquthu municipalities, the contest was expected to be between the Women’s League regional chairperson Ntombi Ngubane and current chairperson Lucky Moloi.
The region, which has 60 branches, saw the party losing all municipalities to the IFP. Previously, the ANC controlled Mvoti and Endumeni but they fell into the hands of the IFP after the local government elections.