With just few a days to go, the ANC’s 54th congress will obviously be the toughest yet.
ANC regional leaders in the Mpumalanga province are in a bid to rescue presidential contender Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s sinking campaign ship as five of the nine ANC provinces have declared support for Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Dlamini-Zuma has since been nominated by KZN, North West and Free State, with Mpumalanga nominating Unity.
On Thursday last week (8 Dec), Nkangala ANC chairman Speedy Mashilo convened what they say was a ‘caucus’ – attended by the region’s delegates – and inviting Bohlabela leader Gillion Mashego, Gert Sibande’s Muzi Chirwa and eHlanzeni’s Ngrayi Ngwenya.
Sources who attended this meeting in KwaMhlanga later on the day said it was chaired by Mashilo – and that both Mashego and Chirwa spoke and all told the delegates that they support Dlamini-Zuma.
Ngwenya didn’t come to the meeting but did send an apology, sources told the 013NEWS reporter.
Nkangala delegates were assured by Mashilo, Mashego and Chirwa that all is well with the NDZ ship, amidst Limpopo, Gauteng and the three cape provinces nominating Ramaphosa as President Jacob Zuma’s successor.
The four Mpumalanga regional leaders want provincial leader DD Mabuza to leave the province and go serve as the deputy president of the ANC.
“The caucus was meant to send a message that delegates should know that we support NDZ and that this thing of Unity should not worry them,” a delegate who attended the KwaMhlanga caucus said on Friday morning.
“They did say that we should not go all over the place pronouncing people, but we should know that we are NDZ,” the source said, adding that of the over 170 Nkangala delegates, 147 came to the Mashilo meeting and agreed to support NDZ.
“Chirwa and Mashego spoke and reaffirmed our support for comrade Nkosazana,” the source told the reporter.
Dlamini-Zuma was during BGMs nominated by only 123 of the total Mpumalanga branches, Ramaphosa only 117 and Mabuza’s Unity receiving 223 branch nomination votes.
The regional leaders want Mabuza’s Unity delegates turned into NDZ votes in conference in order to allow him to be the deputy president.
Mashilo confirmed convening the meeting and said his other counterparts were invited to demonstrate to delegates the support of his region for NDZ.
“Let me not speak for the province, I’m not allowed to speak on its behalf,” Mashilo said when the reporter asked him whether as Mpumalanga they support NDZ, “but as Nkangala yes we support NDZ,” he said over the phone.
She needed the support of KZN as the biggest ANC province and Mpumalanga but Limpopo and Gauteng are just some of the more dangerous provinces for her to emerge.
ANC presidential contender Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is facing a tough journey as more and more branches come out to declare support for Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.
She lost Gauteng and Limpopo, which both will send more than 1000 delegates combined, as well as Eastern Cape, the third largest ANC province, which will send over 640 delegates to the 54th national congress in Johannesburg.
Limpopo is the ANC’s fourth biggest province, allocated 643 delegates and Gauteng sixth – with 508 delegates.
A week ago Mpumalanga leader DD Mabuza pronounced Unity – snubbing both camps – and leaving Dlamini- Zuma with only North West, Free State and KZN.
The three cape provinces – Northern, Western and Eastern Cape – nominated Ramaphosa as well as Gauteng and Limpopo, giving him over 1 800 branches against Dlamini-Zuma’s 1 300.
She said the presidential candidate will speak for the rights of the poor to be allowed access to SA’s economy.
ANC contender Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is painted by Jessie Duarte as that leader with the capabilities to bring economic freedom to the marginalised and excluded.
Duarte, who is expected to be re-elected for the position of ANC deputy secretary in December, said they always needed that leader who will “unlock the potential that South Africa has”.
“We need a leader who will say to the rich mining industries ‘you are here, you are South Africans, you are billionaires today because you are South Africans. Not because you come from Europe. You were born here. You took the mines. You took all the wealth but you did not add any value’ and that’s the kind of a leader we know Nkosazana is,” Duarte said.
She was speaking during a Mpumalanga ANCWL’s Molo Makhelwane rally in KwaMhlanga, addressed by Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, over the weekend.
“Until we unite the ANC first, we cannot have an economy that works for everybody. Our economy is not working for us comrades. Our economy works for a particular level of people. We are the servants and that’s the way they want it to remain.
“We are saying we need a leader that will help to unlock every single potential that our country has. Comrade Nkosazana is that kind of leader and she will not be afraid to speak her mind in order to make sure that the right things are done at the right time,” the deputy secretary told scores at the KwaMhlanga stadium.
The NDZ group wants Duarte to retain to her post and Mpumalanga ANC leader DD Mabuza to deputise NDZ as the deputy president as well as Ace Magashule to take over from national secretary Gwede Mantashe and Nathi Mthethwa to be the chair.
Duarte called on all those who were accusing her allies of corruption to also back it up with proof.
She said they are themselves against corruption but didn’t play the game of “accusing people falsely”.
“Comrades let’s be clear. Nobody wants corruption. Nobody. We all must end it collectively. Let us not hide any corrupt people under the carpet but let us not accuse people falsely so that the real corrupt people can hide behind that false accusation,” she said.
The KwaMhlanga rally was meant to send a signal to the world that Mpumalanga ANC is actually behind NDZ.
It was attended by all chairpersons of the ANC regions in Mpumalanga, REC and PEC members, the mayor of Elias Mostwaledi municipality in Limpopo as well as a delegation for Gauteng’s Joburg region.
It began two weeks back when the Mpumalanga ANCWL pronounced, endorsing Dlamini-Zuma to take over the baton of the party in December.
It is believed during a PGC to sit soon and to be addressed by Mabuza, Mpumalanga will pronounce they are backing Dlamini-Zuma.
Most of members in her branch are supporters of CR17, the SABC has reported.
The branch of ANC presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in KZN is faced with problems and may not be able to send delegates to the 54th national elective congress in December.
Branch leader Sibusiso Mbutho told the SABC this week that there is no one willing to come and solve their problem.
Dlamini-Zuma’s branch is in Durban in the eThekwini region.
Problems began a year ago when ANC officials from higher structures disbanded the branch, fighting over the manipulation of the councillor candidate list during 3 August 2016 local government elections.
Branch members believe the decision in December 2016 by the ANC eThekwini regional executive committee to disband the branch and the refusal to reverse it is a clear plan to prevent the branch from attending the congress in December.
The branch supported Senzo Mchunu against Sihle Zikalala in the 2015 KZN provincial congress and has the majority of its members supporting CR17.
“There is no political willingness from the higher structures to correct that problem,” Mbutho, branch chairman, said of the issue of being disbanded.
“Until today there is no official correspondence in terms of the disbandment and therefore it is unconstitutional,” he told the public broadcaster.
“We have appealed the matter until it reached higher structures of the organisation,” Mbutho said.
Members claim that instead of resolving issues, regional party leaders disbanded the branch. An NEC task team had investigated the issue for which they were disbanded and made recommendations but since then the recommendations, reversing the decision that disbanded the branch, was not implemented as they are viewed as a CR17 branch.
The provincial working committee is due to sit and look at the matter, the ANC KZN said this week.