Branch bars Zweli Mkhize
The unlikeliest of events took place last Sunday when ANC treasurer-general and long-standing member Zweli Mkhize was barred from attending a meeting at his branch in Pietermaritzburg.
Mkhize, who is vying to be party president, faced a hurdle where he least expected one, in his own branch in Ward 14 in Willowfontein, Pietermaritzburg.
His name and that of his wife, May Mashego Mkhize, did not appear on the roll for the meeting.
Sibusiso Mkhize (not related to Zweli Mkhize), the man leading the charge against the exclusion, told City Press that Sunday’s chaotic meeting was an illustration of the measures taken by the Moses Mabhida ANC region to thwart any chance of the former KwaZulu-Natal chairperson becoming party president. However, Sibusiso Mkhize is confident the task team dealing with the matter will handle it with the urgency it deserves. “I can confirm a complaint was lodged on Tuesday to the region, province and national offices. It was on a range of issues but central was the apparent exclusion of a number of comrades from their branches,” said Mkhize, who indicated the complaint had been sent via email. Mkhize is a former ward councillor and one of the treasurer-general’s supporters who had sought to nominate Zweli Mkhize for president, something that did not materialise.
The region, led by chairperson Mthandeni Dlungwane and secretary Mzi Zuma, is known to be fully behind presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
“We cannot have a situation where one can be a branch member in good standing and all of a sudden their names are said to be not on the list, there is something going on and it must be addressed swiftly,” said Sibusiso Mkhize.
He said the growing number of complaints from party members both in Moses Mabhida and many parts of the province was an indication there were problems.
Some ANC members have criticised the former KwaZulu-Natal chairperson for clinging to his branch in Pietermaritzburg while stationed in Gauteng. A senior ANC member said Sunday’s development was bound to happen. “When one gets deployed to another region or constituency, one should embrace that and take up membership of the branch in which they are deployed as opposed to retaining membership in a branch where they hardly make any contribution,” said the member.
He observed that aside from Mkhize, President Jacob Zuma and national executive committee member Bheki Cele had followed the same trend by belonging and retaining membership to branches of their homes as opposed to in their deployment areas.