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My political credentials speak for themselves and I have no scandalous baggage: Sandile Zungu

19 July 2022 - 17:04
Sandile Zungu briefs the media on standing for ANC KZN chairperson.
Sandile Zungu briefs the media on standing for ANC KZN chairperson.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

ANC KwaZulu-Natal chair hopeful Sandile Zungu believes the party’s leadership electoral system has disenfranchised members and led to cracks only reforms can mend.

Zungu held a media briefing on Tuesday, where he laid out his objectives for political office, diagnosed challenges that have plagued the party in the province and defined solutions. 

The businessman from Umlazi, south of Durban, said he is positive his name will appear on the ballot for the position come the provincial conference. However, he criticised the electoral process and is advocating for reform.

“The ordinary members of the ANC are being disempowered in choosing who should lead them inasmuch as the basic unit of the organisation is the branch, but the basic unit [is] individual members of the ANC ... it's very important that this matter be looked [into], maybe to move away from slates, to move away from gatekeeping, ownership of branches by individuals ... there is a need for a system where it is one member, one vote,” he said.

“We believe that will do a lot of good in dealing with this toxic environment of slates, capturing of branches by powerful individuals and money flowing around. The empowerment of members within the context of electoral reforms [is] critical.”

The biggest and most urgent challenge facing the KZN ANC ahead of the conference, according to Zungu, is the election of leaders who are capable of retaining a majority come the 2024 elections.

Zungu said the trend points to a massive decline of the party in the province and if nothing changes, it is destined for opposition come 2024. This, he said, prompted him to contest for political office.

“For a lot of us who were born in the ANC, we are deeply worried the ANC robbed of state power would be an ANC robbed of its capacity to deliver a better life for all South Africans ... to fight poverty, inequality, unemployment, among other ills that bedevil our society. 

“I being able to stand up is because I recognise I probably possess part of the solution to the problems. If I am elected I will not operate on my own — my commitment to serving the ANC and its people is unequivocal, despite the outcomes of the conference.”

While provincial chairs are often picked for the premiership position, Zungu said he does not want an executive role. His aim is to steer the party back to leadership status. This would be done by uniting the province, reclaiming glory for the party by being actively involved in fostering solutions to societal ills and ensuring accountability by those in government.

He added that interactions in regions he has visited have compelled him to believe he is on the right path and nomination from his branch is a confidence booster. 

While Zungu is seen as more of a businessman than a politician, he believes his political credentials speak for themselves. He traced his political activism back to the age of 14, through university in the 1980s and during his career, most notably when he led state-owned entity Denel. 

“I don't need much justification., I don't need much validation, I am very confident about my struggle credentials.

“What I don't have are credentials to do the wrong things, but I do have strong political credentials and I have a right to be here as a member of the ANC, and be available to stand for office. It is my duty,” he said, signalling he has no scandalous baggage.

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