Mantashe is disingenuous – ANCYL
League accuses NEC of trying to weaken province
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.
Gwede Mantashe says the decision to appeal the recent high court ruling is theirs to make.