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eThekwini’s new leadership collective preaches unity and embrace after resounding victory

New ANC eThekwini regional leaders Thembo Ntuli, Musa Nciki and Nkosenhle Madlala.
New ANC eThekwini regional leaders Thembo Ntuli, Musa Nciki and Nkosenhle Madlala.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

History repeated itself in eThekwini on Sunday when the ANC region reelected Zandile Gumede as their leader, but this time she comes with baggage and is likely to step aside before she takes office. 

Following a fierce contest over months, Gumede beat eThekwini speaker and President Cyril Ramaphosa ally Thabani Nyawose by an overwhelming margin, clinching the powerful position of chair in the ANC’s biggest region in the country.

Gumede was nominated and elected in absentia. The former eThekwini mayor is standing trial in Durban’s high court alongside 21 others accused of fraud, corruption and racketeering. She faces more than 2,000 charges related to a R320m solid waste project.

However, her loyalists remained loyal to her, delivering an upset that might have far-reaching implications for KwaZulu-Natal’s upcoming elective conference and possibly the national conference in December. 

Gumede’s win is expected to boost former health minister Zweli Mkhize’s ambitions in the race for the party’s number one position in December

Hours before the start of the conference Mkhize addressed Gumede’s supporters in Ballito, nailing his colours to the “Gumede” mast.

The conference, which kept the eyes of the nation glued on eThekwini over the weekend,  is even more significant for Gumede as she was elected with her entire slate for the region's officials,- gaining a clean sweep.

The crucial positions in the ANC’s biggest region were won by:

  • Gumede, regional chairperson;
  • Thembo Ntuli, deputy chairperson;
  • Musa Nciki, regional secretary;
  • Nkosenhle Madlala, secretary; and
  • Zoe Shabalala, treasurer.

In a media briefing shortly after their victory, Ntuli, Madlala and Nciki, who are the only members of the five officials not facing any corruption-related charges, addressed the media. 

Nciki said the leadership collective will focus on embracing all members, including those they were in contest with for positions.

After election (conference) we normally work on the same programme. Our responsibility for now will be more to look at the organisational work.

“We will also look at our comrades and not opponents. They had a  different view and democracy prevailed. We are also going to embrace them. We will respect them as we will require them to respect us,” said Nciki. 

Ntuli said their victory will not affect deployments to eThekwini municipality, where some of their losing opponents hold strategic positions.

“We are in the process of electing in the region and not in a government election. When you have elected the leadership you have to work with the deployees of the movement because there is no government that was just elected,” he said.

TimesLIVE


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