Man­tashe is disin­gen­u­ous – ANCYL

League ac­cuses NEC of try­ing to weaken prov­ince

Sowetan - - News - By Nathi Oli­fant Matthew Sa­vides –TimesLIVE

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The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal looks set for a bat­tle against its par­ent body as the fall­out over Tues­day’s Pi­eter­mar­itzburg High Court case con­tin­ued yes­ter­day af­ter­noon‚ threat­en­ing to tear apart an al­ready frac­tured prov­ince.

The party’s na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee (NEC) said in the wake of the court de­ci­sion – which ruled that the ANC KZN 2015 con­fer­ence was un­law­fully con­sti­tuted and its elected of­fi­cials in­valid‚ ef­fec­tively ren­der­ing the prov­ince lead­er­less – that it would step in and de­cide whether it would al­low their pro­vin­cial coun­ter­parts to ap­peal.

At the same time‚ for­mer KZN premier‚ sec­re­tary-gen­eral Zweli Mkhize‚ said the pro­vin­cial body had to “sub­mit” to the NEC‚ which would “take re­spon­si­bil­ity” for the sit­u­a­tion.

But at a heated me­dia con­fer­ence yes­ter­day‚ the sur­pris­ingly pow­er­ful ANC Youth League stopped just short of telling the NEC‚ and sec­re­tary-gen­eral Gwede Man­tashe in par­tic­u­lar‚ to back off.

Flanked by the women’s and vet­er­ans’ leagues‚ as well as re­gional lead­ers‚ the ANCYL threw its full weight be­hind the pro­vin­cial ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee (PEC), de­spite their le­git­i­macy be­ing nul­li­fied by the court just over 24 hours ear­lier.

ANCYL pro­vin­cial chair Kwazi Mshengu said the de­ci­sion to ap­peal the judg­ment had noth­ing to do with the NEC – and that the na­tional body had left the PEC to fend for it­self by be­ing ab­sent dur­ing the case.

“It’s un­fair for the NEC or the SG [Man­tashe] to now come and say the de­ci­sion to ap­peal lay with them. The PEC bat­tled this case alone and not even one mem­ber of the NEC came to court to sup­port the PEC. It’s strange. They had ex­pressed con­fi­dence in the PEC [when it was] be­ing taken to court. They should con­tinue with the same con­fi­dence when the PEC ap­peals‚” he said.

A more vo­cal Than­dux­olo Sa­belo‚ the Youth League KZN sec­re­tary‚ called Man­tashe’s ut­ter­ances disin­gen­u­ous. But he be­lieves that the case is about more than what hap­pens in KZN‚ say­ing it was all about in­flu­enc­ing the na­tional con­fer­ence in De­cem­ber in favour of Cyril Ramaphosa.

“Th­ese com­rades are not even con­test­ing the pro­vin­cial con­fer­ence. They know there’s no space to con­test. All [the] re­gions here, if there ever would be a con­fer­ence, they will re-elect Sihle [Zikalala] as chair and com­rade Su­per [Zuma] as sec­re­tary‚” Sa­belo said.

“Th­ese com­rades are con­test­ing the na­tional con­fer­ence. If you can see the for­mer pro­vin­cial chair‚ Senzo Mchunu‚ he’s up and down the en­tire coun­try ad­dress­ing chairs in Lim­popo and Free State.”

At the 2015 con­fer­ence‚ Zikalala de­feated for­mer chair Mchunu for the top po­si­tion. Mchunu has come out strongly back­ing Ramaphosa‚ while Zikalala and his slate have backed Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

The Youth League said the so-called “rebels” – com­pris­ing some 43 branches who claimed the 2015 con­fer­ence should not have gone ahead and its out­comes should not have been ac­cepted due to irregularities – sim­ply wanted to cause in­sta­bil­ity in KZN.

This had the po­ten­tial to‚ in turn‚ re­sult in fewer del­e­gates from KZN at­tend­ing the De­cem­ber na­tional con­fer­ence‚ a move which could be a ham­mer blow to Dlamini-Zuma’s pres­i­den­tial am­bi­tions.

/ VELI NHLAPO

Gwede Man­tashe says the de­ci­sion to ap­peal the re­cent high court rul­ing is theirs to make.

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