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Disputed ANC KZN elective conference finally going ahead

ANC provincial task team coordinator Sihle Zikala.
ANC provincial task team coordinator Sihle Zikala.
Image: Gallo Images / Netwerk24 / Deaan Vivier

The long-awaited ANC KwaZulu-Natal provincial conference is finally set to go ahead.

In a statement issued on Friday afternoon‚ the ANC said that the conference would take place from Thursday to Saturday.

This comes after the party was barred by the Pietermaritzburg High Court from holding the provincial conference last month because of infighting between pro-president Cyril Ramaphosa supporters and those who support former president Jacob Zuma.

ANC provincial task team coordinator Sihle Zikalala announced on Friday that the three-day provincial conference will now take place following that court delay. A press conference to announce full details has been called for Monday.

Last month chaos erupted at the party’s provincial conference‚ where national party chairperson Gwede Mantashe was booed as he took the podium. Mantashe‚ who was deployed by the party’s top brass to deliver a keynote address‚ was prevented from speaking despite attempts by Zikalala to plead with pro-Zuma supporters to stop chanting and singing.

It is understood that Mantashe was booed because of him being aligned to Ramaphosa leading up to the party’s elective conference in Nasrec in Johannesburg in December.

Disgruntled ANC members — who claimed to represent 44 branches of 88 in the Moses Mabhida region — rushed to court the Friday afternoon as the conference was about to get underway to apply for an urgent interdict to stop it from going ahead.

They succeeded in their application to interdict the conference.

But after negotiations behind the scenes‚ the ANC delegates representing the three aggrieved regions and the provincial task team have this week settled their matter out of court.

Last month’s interdicted conference was called after a pervious successful court challenge by so-called “ANC rebels”‚ who petitioned to the Pietermaritzburg High Court that the outcomes of the 2015 KZN elective conference should be declared null and void – a petition that was ultimately successful.

It is widely expected that Zikalala will be re-elected to his powerful position of provincial ANC chairman‚ without opposition.

The Sunday Times reported last month that Zuma wanted the KwaZulu-Natal leadership that was elected at the nullified November 2015 conference to be re-elected. He particularly wanted his fierce ally‚ Super Zuma‚ to keep his post as provincial secretary.

Former ANC provincial spokesman Mdumiseni Ntuli is tipped as the new provincial secretary.

The Sunday Times reported that the “zebra list” negotiated by the two factions would have seen Zikalala being elected unopposed as provincial chairman and Ramaphosa backer Mike Mabuyakhulu‚ the provincial task team convenor‚ becoming deputy chairman or provincial treasurer.

Ramaphosa personally intervened to ensure a settlement between the warring ANC factions in KwaZulu-Natal after it became evident that people close to Zuma were plotting a breakaway‚ working with church leaders‚ taxi bosses and business people.

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