Angry Zuma rebukes ANC KZN for failing to deliver landslide for NDZ
President said to have blamed provincial leaders for selling Nkosazana short
President Jacob Zuma snubbed the ANC KwaZulu-Natal provincial general council after expressing his unhappiness to provincial leaders about the number of nominations his preferred candidate, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, had received.
Three senior ANC leaders in KwaZulu-Natal said an angry Zuma, who was in Durban at the time the provincial general council took place, berated chairman Sihle Zikalala and other leaders for failing to deliver a landslide victory for Dlamini-Zuma in the province.
Dlamini-Zuma delivered the closing speech in Zuma's place.Zuma is said to have been peeved that his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa, managed to get 191 branch nominations in the province considered to be Zuma's stronghold. Dlamini-Zuma received 454 nominations.
The Dlamini-Zuma camp expected the KwaZulu-Natal nomination outcome to give her enough nominations to catch up with Ramaphosa. But overall results show she still lags behind Ramaphosa in the nominations count.
Zuma is said to have spoken to ANC KwaZulu-Natal leaders on the sidelines of the Terminal Operators Conference and Exhibition, an event for port operators, at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre, a stone's throw from the Olive Convention Centre where the provincial general council was taking place.
"He asked the leadership if they were really in charge and said the province has never been this weak," said a provincial executive committee member.
This was corroborated by another ANC leader, who said Zuma was unhappy and believed "not enough political work" had been done in the province in the lead-up to branch general meetings.
He said the president expressed his misgivings to Zikalala about deputy chairman Willies Mchunu having been left to run the provincial general council proceedings.
"Come to think of it, it is unprecedented for Zuma not to attend such a big gathering in his home province. This is a man who rocked up uninvited at a rally in Stanger, where he was not even billed to speak, but TG [treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize] was."
Zikalala denied on Friday that Zuma was unimpressed but admitted that he and the president had discussed the provincial general council proceedings briefly.