Sunday World (South Africa)

Snubbed Ntuli’s support base growing fast

Former provincial secretary is KZN’S hope for top 6 post

- By Sandile Motha

The ANC in Kwazulu-natal is negotiatin­g with its former provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli in efforts to start unleashing support for his candidatur­e for the position of ANC secretary general (SG) when elections take place in December.

Sunday World was told by reliable sources that the governing party’s biggest province, KZN, was slowly realising that Ntuli could be their last hope to enter into the organisati­on’s top six leadership position by vying for the SG position – the equivalent of a CEO position at Luthuli House.

A grouping of leaders close to President Cyril Ramaphosa has lined up ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula, a former ANC Youth League president, for this top position.

Any backing from KZN for Ntuli, who has been criss-crossing the country campaignin­g, without the support of his province, which has picked former Eastern Cape premier Phumulo Masualle, would mean the position of the SG, which has been used by provinces for horse trading, is going to become a twohorse race between Mbalula and Ntuli. The KZN provincial executive committee has announced Masualle as SG candidate, alongside former health minister Zweli Mkhize as presidenti­al candidate and Paul Mashatile as deputy president.

The political dynamics after the completion of branch nomination­s this week has forced party bosses in KZN to re-evaluate the decision by the province to snub Ntuli for Masualle.

“Comrades are beginning to realise that comrade Mdumiseni has real prospects of emerging as SG. He is one of the few candidates supported by all the slates. So, backing his candidacy will not be a bad idea. There’s also a general concern that if comrade Khabazela (Zweli Mkhize) does not win against CR, we will have no one in the top six,” a member of the provincial executive committee told Sunday World.

He said the emergence of Ntuli without the backing of the province would embarrass and divide the province ahead of the 2024 election. “The nomination­s across the province have shown that the branches want comrade Mdumiseni as ANC secretary, and we must be alive to this fact. Despite our political difference­s, the fixation should be to save the ANC and arrest our electoral decline in the province,” he said.

Ntuli lobbyist Sabelo Sigudu said the latest province where Ntuli’s support had overwhelmi­ngly grown was the Free State.

“The announceme­nt by the KZN leadership on its preferred top six was premature because by then many branches had not held their branch general meetings. They in essence took the powers from the branches. The BGMS (branch general meetings) have shown a different picture because comrade Mdumiseni is receiving incredible support. In KZN he is a leading campaigner,” said Sigudu.

He said Ntuli lobbyists were this week in the Free State securing venues for Ntuli to speak with his backers. “Branches view him as a unifier, and they support him based on principle. They believe he is the man who can save the ANC. In one of the biggest regions in the 69 branches that has qualified, he tops the list. His support is also not limited to one province,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mkhize’s bid to become president received a major boost this week when the ANCYL national task team endorsed him. The structure is given 40 voting delegates for the conference.

 ?? /Gallo Images ?? The ANC in KZN is punting former provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli for the position of secretary general.
/Gallo Images The ANC in KZN is punting former provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli for the position of secretary general.

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