Mchunu denies backing Sexwale
KwaZulu-Natal MEC for education and ANC provincial executive committee member Senzo Mchunu has distanced himself from the faction that supports ANC presidential hopeful and Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale in the lead up to the party's elective conference in Mangaung later this year.
Commenting for the first time since media reports suggested that he would be Sexwale's candidate for membership of the ANC's top six, as deputy secretary, Mchunu said he had not had such a discussion with Sexwale, or anyone else.
Sexwale has been touted as one of the leading candidates to challenge President Jacob Zuma for the ANC's top position.
Mchunu said yesterday that he had noted "with grave concern" the continued publication of stories linking him to discussions in the lead-up to the conference.
"It has been widely reported that I am part of a group that is challenging the current ANC's national top six under the leadership of Comrade Jacob Zuma. I want to state categorically that I distance myself from any such discussions with Comrade Tokyo Sexwale or any other person pertaining to the list, or matters relating to the national conference of the ANC to be held later this year," Mchunu said.
He said the persistent reports smacked of a well-crafted campaign aimed at destabilising the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal, thereby creating doubt and mistrust within both the leadership and the membership.
Mchunu was elected to the ANC's provincial executive committee during the province's elective conference in Newcastle recently. The well choreographed re-election of the province's ANC top five, led by party chairman and premier Zweli Mkhize, is seen by many within the ANC as a move to ensure that the province backs Zuma for a second term. Mkhize and his provincial executive committee top five were re-elected unopposed.
According to delegates, Mchunu declined a nomination from the floor for the position of deputy chairman.
According to media reports, Mchunu, a former secretary of the ANC in the province, appeared on the list of Sexwale's faction as a deputy to Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula.
The list, according to reports, features ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe as Sexwale's deputy, North West Premier Thandi Modise as national chairman, and Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile as treasurer-general.
The Sunday Times reported that Sexwale's faction had adopted an "ABZ" (Anyone But Zuma) approach in its campaign to unseat Zuma in Mangaung.
"I am convinced that KwaZulu-Natal stands united, under one leadership and acts as a collective. The evidence of this unity has been demonstrated," said Mchunu.