Edward throws BGM off the rail
No solution to dispute as Edward Zuma calls for fresh elections KZN scoops Govan Mbeki Award again
AN ONGOING feud between President Jacob Zuma’s eldest son, Edward, and the chairperson of the Msholozi branch in Nkandla, Doctor Bhengu, led to the collapse of last week’s branch general meeting (BGM).
Edward’s backers did not show up because they disputed Bhengu’s election and the meeting collapsed as a quorum could not be achieved.
But Bhengu is confident that his ward, which is known to be behind Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma in next month’s ANC electoral conference, will sit for their rescheduled BGM today.
The ANC has been staging nationwide BGMS to nominate candidates ahead of the national conference.
Edward’s supporters, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they would not attend branch meetings because they did not recognise the current leadership, which they regarded as an illegitimate structure.
“The current leadership is illegitimate and we want fresh elections to take place in the branch. That’s why we will not attend meetings,” said another of Edward’s supporters.
The rift between the two deepened when Bhengu beat Edward to the leadership position of the ward that bears his clan (Msholozi) name in April.
After losing, Edward lodged an appeal with the provincial leadership to have the branch elections set aside and for fresh elections to take place.
His supporters, who claimed that the party processes were flouted during the April elections, have since vowed to boycott branch meetings until their request for fresh elections is accepted.
One staunch Edward Zuma supporter said: “The branch leadership knows that it stole the elections in April.” Edward’s faction has also raised its discontent with the ANC’S national leadership and has similarly not response as yet.
It’s believed that the branch was firmly behind Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma to become the ANC’S next president. However, with the presidency race being a numbers game, if the branch failed to successfully convene a BGM before Wednesday’s deadline, it would impact on Dlamini Zuma’s bid for the top position.
The branch also did not deploy any delegates to the party’s policy conference held in July, where policy proposals and directions were debated. received a
In April, the branch election in Msholozi turned ugly when supporters of Edward and Bhengu squared up to each other and chaos erupted. Bhengu emerged victorious at the second attempt, leaving Edward’s backers furious.
Bhengu, who now leads the branch, acknowledged that last week’s BGM had collapsed after Edward’s supporters had boycotted the meeting.
He said his relationship with Edward had turned sour after he defeated him in April.
Despite the snags, Bhengu was confident the BGM, at Mnyakana High School, the president’s voting station, would achieve a quorum today.
He said efforts to mend his broken relationship with Edward had not borne fruit.
“Even the provincial and regional (Musa Dladla region) leadership intervened, but he (Edward) kept dictating terms after he had lost the election.”
Bhengu said the branch would nominate Dlamini Zuma to be the new president in December.
Edward directed all queries to the provincial leadership.
ANC provincial secretary Super Zuma said they were dealing with Edward’s appeal, and declined to give further details.
However, he conceded that the ANC was racing against time, and that the Msholozi branch was not the only branch that had failed to convene its BGM. CONGRATULATORY messages have flooded in for the Kwazulu-natal Department of Human Settlements and Public Works after it snatched the Govan Mbeki Award for sustainable human settlement for a fourth consecutive time.
One of the founding members of the shack dwellers movement, Abahlali basemjondolo, Sbu Zikode, sang the praises of MEC Ravi Pillay.
“We give credit where it’s due.
“Pillay has been working hard and we congratulate him on winning the award.”
While Zikode lauded Pillay and his department, he said a lot still needed to be done in ridding the province of housing crisis.
“People on the ground need to be proactive and we need to amplify our voices in pursuit of a better life.”
Zikode, who was part of the department’s action working group, said: “It helped the department a great deal to rope in people like us into their action working group committee because we kept them abreast of the plight of people on the ground. We live with them and know their daily challenges.”
Sifiso Mkhize, a resident at the Kennedy road informal settlement in Clare Estate, congratulated Pillay but pleaded with him to also consider them in housing projects. its
“At least we know that somewhere in the province some poor people are getting houses. We acknowledge that government cannot provide houses for everyone at the same time, but we plead with the MEC to fast-track the programme.”
In response, Pillay said: “I really did not expect this one. Human Settlements requires a lot of partnerships and one has to always do things better. Doing it correct comes with a lot of hard work, and working as a team. It requires working with other stakeholders such as municipalities, who are at the coalface of housing delivery, as well as traditional leadership.”
Driven by the National Department of Human Settlements, which is headed by Lindiwe Sisulu, the Govan Mbeki Awards is in recognition of excellence in the provision of decent housing.
Premier Willies Mchunu said: “We congratulate the Department of Human Settlements led by Pillay for this achievement. Winning the Govan Mbeki Award year after year is an indication that the department understands that the delivery of houses is more than just the construction of four walls and a roof but a foundation for the creation of new communities.”
Meanwhile, the ethekwini Municipality, led by mayor Zandile Gumede, also won the Best Metropolitan Municipality of the Year award.
The winning team: MEC for Human Settlements and Public Works in Kwazulu-natal, Ravi Pillay and staffers celebrating after their office won the Govan Mbeki Award fourth time in a row.
Edward Zuma is refusing to accept defeat by Doctor Bhengu.