Meeting over “stepping-stone” position at ANC branch disrupted.
THE ASPIRATIONS of former president Jacob Zuma’s son, Duduzane, to follow in his father’s footsteps by becoming an ANC president is hanging in the balance after a “stepping-stone” meeting of his political career was disrupted this week.
Duduzane would have become the chairperson of the ANC’s eThekwini Ward 11 branch in Newlands East, however, the branch general meeting (BGM) where he was to be elected turned into chaos.
Some members expressed unhappiness about him being “parachuted” into the position. Duduzane has ambitions of becoming an ANC president, which will set him up for being the country’s first citizen – a position his father held for almost 10 years.
The branch had not set the date for the next meeting as it was busy with the election of the ward councillor candidates.
The position he is contesting is crucial, and a stepping stone for him to ascend to the ANC’s top position.
Should he get elected as the branch chairperson, Duduzane would stand a better chance to be a voting delegate during ANC’s regional and national conference where he could also be nominated for any position, including that of party president.
An ANC member who was part of the meeting, said it collapsed after there was confusion over Duduzane’s nomination.
But he insisted that Duduzane was “uncontested”, adding that members only wanted more clarity about him.
“All members have been briefed about the plan to elect him, they have all agreed he will stand for the position.
The position is not contested, he is young, articulate and an ANC member in good standing, I see no challenge for him to be elected,” said the member.
Duduzane rose to fame through his associations with the Gupta family – his business associates.
The Gupta’s left the country in 2018 amid allegations of fraud and corruption. They have also been implicated by several witnesses before the ongoing Commission of Inquiry into State Capture chaired by Deputy-Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.
Since Zuma’s presidency, Duduzane has became a social media darling, dominating the trend list whenever he comes back from Dubai where he spends most of his time.
Social media users, particularly women, commented fondly on his dress sense, posture and the way he walks.
He also increased his public appearances by accompanying his father to court, and led his branch during the parade of support outside his father’s Nkandla home, ahead of Zuma’s incarceration for contempt of court.
Johnson Agatha, ANC Ward 11 councillor confirmed that Duduzane was present when the meeting was disrupted this week. She said there were members who were unhappy about him, but said branch would meet again on Monday in preparation for the next meeting.
She said Duduzane had been active in the wards leading up to the BGM.
“He has been part of many projects around the ward, and people love him. Yes, there were issues raised by some members, which resulted in the meeting being postponed. The branch committee will meet again tomorrow in preparation for the next meeting. We are currently busy with ward councillor nominations, which is a priority, as the party prepares for the local government elections. Once that process is over, we will then be able to elect the chairperson of the branch,” said Agatha.
Duduzane could not be reached for comment as his cellphone went unanswered.