Sunday Tribune

Edward Zuma fails to secure votes

President’s son loses bid to chair Msholozi branch


LIKE father, like son. This phrase seems to have found resonance with President Jacob Zuma and his eldest son, Edward, whose political ambitions have emerged.

While Zuma heads the country and the ANC, Edward wanted to lead the Msholozi branch in Kwanxamala­la village, in Nkandla, but failed to secure enough votes.

He will have to wait before he is elected to lead any structure in the ANC after his failed bid as he can only contest the ward in which he is a member.

Asked about his leadership ambitions, Edward said: “I’m a member of the ANC in good standing and qualified to stand for any position.” He would not comment further and denied losing the election.

He was defeated by his ANC counterpar­t, Doctor Bhengu, who was elected chairperso­n in a fiercely contested affair.

Edward, who is known to publicly fire salvoes at his father’s detractors, also did not make the cut as an additional member of the branch leadership.

Of the 240 ANC members of Msholozi branches, the 153 who participat­ed voted by a show of hands.

The first meeting to elect new leadership of the branch was on April 9, but turned to chaos after Edward’s and Bhengu’s supporters clashed.

This was triggered by the barring of some delegates who were claimed to be Edward’s supporters who allegedly did not appear on the voters roll.

It prompted the Musa Dladla region, which Msholozi branch fell under, to postpone the meeting to April 30.

Regional secretary Tholi Gwala said at the time the meeting was disrupted by intoxicate­d people.

The second meeting took place at Mnyakanya High School under a heavy security presence.

While Gwala said the meeting reconvened successful­ly with Bhengu being elected, Edward said the meeting had been postponed.

When contacted, Edward initially said he was not allowed to talk to the media but eventually commented.

“The meeting did sit but it was postponed. We are still awaiting the date from the region.”

This was, however, disputed by Gwala, who oversaw the meeting and is authorised to speak to the media.

“No, he is lying. The branch meeting took place and he did not make it as chairperso­n. He also did not make it as an additional member of the branch. I was there,” he said.

An ANC member who supported Edward said the meeting took place but they were not happy with how the process unfolded, alleging that it was flawed.

“We are going to contest the outcome of the meeting because Edward’s supporters were not allowed inside the school where the meeting was held,” said the ANC member who did not want her name to be revealed.

Gwala said there were no formal grievances lodged with the region but said Edward had verbally complained to him about his supporters being barred from the entering the hall.

“I checked the credential­s of the people who were participat­ing in the meeting and they were all ANC members. Those who were not allowed to enter the hall were ANC supporters, not ANC members,” said Gwala.

When contacted again, Edward accused Gwala of being a “culprit that is working against the ANC”.

• Meanwhile, the opposition party led by Bantu Holomisa, the United Democratic Movement, has approached the Constituti­onal Court in a bid to have the secret ballot allowed when MPS vote in the motion of no-confidence against Zuma.

Tomorrow, opposition parties will march to the Concourt where the outcome of their applicatio­n will be heard.

No date has yet been set for the motion.

Initially, the date set was April 18 but was postponed after opposition parties applied to have secret voting allowed.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is believed to be vying for the presidency post when Zuma steps down, supported an ANC call to its MPS to vote along party lines.

ANC MP and former finance minister Pravin

Gordhan, who was among those sacked in Zuma’s latest cabinet reshuffle, said he would vote with his “conscience”.

Reacting to the court bid, Edward said, “They (opposition) have captured courts. They take matters to court knowing well that they will win the case. And the decision that will be taken will be in their favour. Is it that judiciary capture?”

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