Tensions are running high within the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal after rumours that leaders have been purged and will not represent the party in the provincial and local government structures after next year's elections.
Sowetan has reliably learnt that MEC for agriculture and environmental affairs Mtholephi Mthimkhulu, MEC for housing, local government and traditional affairs Mike Mabuyakhulu, chief whip Cyril Xaba and Mbuso Kubheka, local government and traditional affairs portfolio committee chairman, are out of the powerful eThekwini regional list.
The future of Bheki Cele, MEC for transport, community safety and liaison, also looks bleak.
A member of the eThekwini region, who asked not to be named, said the region wanted MECs Weziwe Thusi and Lydia Johnson to go to the national assembly.
She also said they wanted Willies Mchunu, current speaker of the legislature, to be an MEC.
"We want eThekwini mayor Obed Mlaba to go to the national assembly and speaker James Nxumalo to take over his position.
"Though we have not finalised who will be doing what, we are certain that Mthimkhulu, Mabuyakhulu, Xaba, Kubheka and most probably Paulos Ngcobo are out," she said.
She said the future of MEC for health Peggy Nkonyeni, who was highly placed, has been dented after the recent charges by the Scorpions.
But eThekwini spokesman James Nxumalo denied there was a purge. But he conceded that the names of some senior leaders had been excluded from the draft list.
"I want to stress that in the final nomination lists, the leaders you have mentioned are there. We decided that there should be leadership continuity, hence the decision to keep the current leaders and add new names," Nxumalo said.