Gedleyihlekisa branch snubs NDZ's candidacy

Provincial ANC sacks local leaders after they back Cyril

29 October 2017 - 00:02 By NATHI OLIFANT

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma's ANC branch, which is named after her ex-husband, President Jacob Zuma, does not think she will make a good leader for the ruling party.
The Gedleyihlekisa ANC branch in central Durban, which counts the presidential hopeful as its most prominent member, wants Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to succeed Zuma.
The branch's leaders have now been sacked by the provincial executive committee, although the committee denied that the decision this week was retribution for their failure to back Dlamini-Zuma.As campaigning hots up ahead of the December elective conference, several Ramaphosa supporters in KwaZulu-Natal have complained that they have been prevented from participating in branch general meetings or that their names have disappeared from the voters roll.
Gedleyihlekisa branch secretary Siya Njokweni said it was clear that provincial leaders had taken a factional stance.
He said the national executive committee instructed the PEC to reverse the decision but it had not done so.
"Our position to support the deputy president is clear.
"We remain loyal to the Mangaung collective decision that elected Comrade Cyril as the deputy and we want the tradition of the ANC to be followed for him to take over in December. He's a well-seasoned leader," said Njokweni.
He confirmed that Dlamini-Zuma, who owns a flat in central Durban, was a member of his branch and that the president was a former member.
"In fact she called me in February wanting to renew her membership. We hope she will still remain a member after the conference and attend our meetings," he said.
Njokweni said Dlamini-Zuma had attended some branch meetings and that she knew the branch leadership's position.He said the branch remained a legitimate structure until it received confirmation of its dissolution in writing.
"We will challenge that in court. Other recourse we have is that we will mobilise and march to the provincial office," Njokweni said.
A member of the branch executive committee said that if they had supported Dlamini-Zuma the provincial leadership would not have disbanded the branch.
"There are a number of branches whose affairs are in tatters but because they are toeing the line and support Dlamini-Zuma, their acts are being condoned. They are not treating the branches equally," this member said.
He said when it became clear that the majority of branch members intended to nominate Ramaphosa, the ANC provincial leadership blocked the branch from holding a general meeting.
Provincial ANC spokesman Mdumiseni Ntuli confirmed the branch had been dissolved but denied it was being punished for dissent.
He said the action was a response to the branch's failure to campaign for the ANC in last year's local government elections.
Ntuli said relations with the branch collapsed, but he denied that the PEC had known of the branch's intention to nominate Ramaphosa.

This article is reserved for Sunday Times subscribers.

A subscription gives you full digital access to all Sunday Times content.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Registered on the BusinessLIVE, Business Day or Financial Mail websites? Sign in with the same details.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00.