The eHlanzeni leader says what happened at Ahmed Kathrada’s funeral was proof of how contestation kills the party.


eHlanzeni ANC leader Ngrayi Ngwenya has said that contestation during elective congresses was killing the party.

Ngwenya was speaking on Thursday during an interview with 013NEWS concerning a decision that a Special Regional General Council of the party took a weekend ago (26 Mar).

In this council, delegates endorsed Ngwenya to retain his post as regional chairman, his deputy Sbusiso Mathonsi, secretary Phazamisa Mathe, deputy secretary Nathaniel Mashile, treasurer Momotho Thumbathi as well as 90% of current regional executive committee members.

“If you look at what happened at comrade Ahmed Kathrada’s funeral, that was a result of contestation,” Ngwenya told the reporter over the phone.

“Comrade Kgalema attacked the President [Zuma] because in 2012 he lost to him and he is still bitter,” Ngwenya said.

“The Kathrada family also is bitter because comrade Zuma reshuffled his cabinet and that affected comrade Ahmed’s wife, Barbara Hogan. So you see, that’s the whole purpose, we said ‘no, let’s maintain the status quo’ to achieve unity,” said Ngwenya.

Kathrada died on Tuesday morning following a brain surgery.

His funeral was declared a special official funeral by President Jacob Zuma on the same Tuesday morning but then the family refused Zuma to attend, saying that was the late stalwart’s wish.

SEE ALSO: Muzi Chirwa, Audrey Maleka to retain posts

During the funeral, ex-Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe was one of the speakers and quoted a letter in which Kathrada asked Zuma to step down, provoking standing ovation from mourners.

“When you contest each other, the other group that didn’t win will obviously be angry and that kills the ANC and we don’t want that in eHlanzeni”, Ngwenya said.

SEE ALSO: Mswati wants Nkangala ‘status quo’ to remain ahead of congress

Ngwenya will return for a third term when the region convenes an elective congress on 6 and 7 May 2017.

He has been leading the region since 2010.

The region’s special RGC also took the decision to support provincial leader David Mabuza to form part of the top six when the ANC meets for its 54th congress in Gauteng late this year.

(edited by ZK)

Send tips to [email protected]