KZN to retain leaders
THE KwaZulu-Natal ANC conference, which officially starts today in Newcastle, is expected to re-elect the province's top five leaders headed by chairman and Premier Zweli Mkhize, with virtually no contest expected.
President Jacob Zuma is expected to give an opening address.
Earlier this week most regions in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) said they wanted Mkhize, his deputy chairman Willies Mchunu, provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala and provincial treasurer Peggy Nkonyeni to retain their positions.
This emerged after all 11 regions in the province held their regional general councils (RGCs) to discuss, among other things, who they want in the top five positions.
Most of the contacted regional secretaries said their members wanted the leadership status quo to remain unchanged.
But Musa Dladla region secretary Siboniso Xulu said their region wanted Willies Mchunu to be replaced by KZN education MEC Senzo Mchunu.
According to sources that spoke to the Sowetan on condition of anonymity, retaining Mkhize and his top leadership will be a major boost for the president's re-election campaign in Mangaung later this year.
A branch delegate said when a mandate is taken at RGC it is unlikely to change during the conference.
Another source from the South African Communist Party said part of the reasoning behind retaining the top five was to ensure that Zuma is the president again after Mangaung.
"A dominating explanation to retain the top five given to branches and regions was that KZN needed to play a vital role in delivering Msholozi back to the same position in Mangaung," he said.
"It is not necessarily about the track records of the top five or calibre of their leadership, it is about a far more important project of ensuring that Zuma is back to his position."
The province has made several pronouncements at ANC gatherings that it supports Zuma.
On Tuesday Mkhize said "Zuma has done a great job", adding that they support him and the current leadership.
Regional secretaries yesterday confirmed there would be a caucus held by delegates last night to go over some of the decisions taken at various RGCs.
ANC Far North regional secretary Thokozani Ngema said it seemed as if the status quo would be maintained.
"What's important is to emerge out of this conference united."