Mchunu fac­tion blamed for KZN ANC di­vi­sion

The Star Early Edition - - POL­I­TICS - BHEKI MBAN­JWA

KWAZULU-NATAL ANC chair­per­son Sihle Zikalala has blamed his pre­de­ces­sor, Senzo Mchunu, and a fac­tion of ANC mem­bers sup­port­ing him for the di­vi­sions that have threat­ened unity in the party in the prov­ince.

In an af­fi­davit, filed in the Pi­eter­mar­itzburg High Court in re­sponse to an ap­pli­ca­tion by a group of ANC mem­bers, who want the party’s 2015 provin­cial con­fer­ence nul­li­fied, Zikalala paints a pic­ture of a di­vided ANC lead­er­ship un­der Mchunu, whom he suc­ceeded at the Novem­ber 2015 con­fer­ence.

He also claims that:

De­ci­sions, in­clud­ing those re­lat­ing to de­ploy­ment, were taken “out­side” the provin­cial ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee (PEC).

Branch and re­gional lead­ers were mo­bilised not to im­ple­ment ANC de­ci­sions and to flout pro­cesses.

Zikalala was un­der­mined by the Mchunu camp while he was provin­cial sec­re­tary.

Mchunu and lead­ers aligned to him los­ing was the

mo­ti­va­tion be­hind the court chal­lenge.

Ap­proached for com­ment yes­ter­day, Mchunu, who is not a party to the court ac­tion, said in an SMS re­sponse to The Star’s sis­ter pa­per, The Mer­cury: “I do not know any­thing about the ex­is­tence of such an af­fi­davit by Sihle Zikalala. I’m home. I was also not aware that he would write about me, if he had to write any­thing at all about the case. I will need to see such. I’m there­fore in no po­si­tion to com­ment.”

In the court pa­pers filed in July 2016 by ANC mem­bers and ap­pli­cants Lawrence Dube, Sibahle Zikalala, Martin Mzangwa, Mzweni Ngcobo and Lindiwe Buthelezi, it is al­leged that the 2015 con­fer­ence was flawed or rigged.

Among their al­le­ga­tions, the mem­bers say the tweet­ing of re­sults on the @myANC Twit­ter han­dle while vot­ing was still un­der way proves the elec­tion was rigged; the provin­cial congress was held ear­lier than it had been sched­uled for; and there were vot­ing ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in­clud­ing the vot­ers roll be­ing ma­nip­u­lated to favour cer­tain branches and dis­ad­van­tage oth­ers, with a num­ber of bo­gus del­e­gates be­ing al­lowed to vote.

The ap­pli­cants, who claim to rep­re­sent 43 branches of the ANC, ar­gued that be­cause the con­fer­ence was moved for­ward this should have been re­quested by at least one-third of the ANC branches in KZN.

In re­sponse, Zikalala refers to the ap­pli­cants as a dis­grun­tled fac­tion and said the ap­pli­ca­tion was “vague, con­tra­dic­tory and mis­di­rected”.

He also said a claim by the ap­pli­cants that the “di­vi­sions that af­fected the pre­vi­ous PEC (led by Mchunu) were as a re­sult of new trends to which the ‘Mchunu fac­tion’ was vig­or­ously op­posed is patently in­cor­rect and de­cep­tive”.

Zikalala said most of the chal­lenges that af­fected unity “emerged im­me­di­ately” after Mchunu was elected provin­cial chair­per­son in March 2013.

He said after that elec­tion Mchunu sup­port­ers within the PEC “pro­jected them­selves as peo­ple who pi­o­neered the elec­tion of the for­mer provin­cial chair­per­son (Mchunu) in a man­ner that sug­gested that it was now them­selves who were in charge of the or­gan­i­sa­tion”.

“There were indi­ca­tions that some de­ci­sions of the or­gan­i­sa­tion were pro­cessed out­side the struc­tures of the or­gan­i­sa­tion be­fore get­ting into the or­gan­i­sa­tion (PEC). This af­fected mostly de­ci­sions on de­ploy­ment to gov­ern­ment,” Zikalala states.

Zikalala, then the provin­cial sec­re­tary, says there was a “wil­ful and de­lib­er­ate ero­sion” of his role. He claims that some or­gan­i­sa­tional mat­ters that should have been pro­cessed by his of­fice were “taken to other of­fices”.

“There was a lack of unity and col­lec­tive lead­er­ship to an ex­tent that provin­cial of­fi­cials would not own and de­fend de­ci­sions they had taken to­gether.”

On hold­ing the con­fer­ence early, Zikalala said it was in fact Mchunu who first made the call for a provin­cial con­fer­ence. “The so-called Mchunu fac­tion was the one that was al­ways ad­vo­cat­ing in all sub­se­quent PEC meet­ings that the provin­cial con­fer­ence should be held in Septem­ber 2015.”

Zikalala fur­ther ar­gues that the ap­pli­cants’ court ac­tion was at least two months late in terms of the rules stip­u­lated by the Pro­mo­tion of Ad­min­is­tra­tive Jus­tice Act.

He ar­gues that many ad­min­is­tra­tive de­ci­sions, in­clud­ing the de­ploy­ment of of­fi­cials to gov­ern­ment po­si­tions, had been made by the cur­rent lead­er­ship, say­ing mat­ters had gone too far “and can­not at this late stage be un­rav­elled”.

While the ap­pli­cants ar­gue that they first tried to ex­haust in­ter­nal pro­cesses, Zikalala said set­ting aside the elec­tion of the PEC would have se­ri­ous fi­nan­cial con­se­quences.

‘UN­DER­MINED’: Sihle Zikalala

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.