KZN ANC pledge a show of unity

Branches to set aside dif­fer­ences dur­ing Jan­uary 8 cel­e­bra­tions, man­i­festo launch

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - NATION - SAMKELO MT­SHALI

AS THE ANC gears up for its 107th birth­day cel­e­bra­tions next year, the party’s lead­er­ship in KwaZulu-Natal is promis­ing a show of unity de­spite fac­tional bat­tles in the prov­ince.

The ANC last month said its Durban and Pi­eter­mar­itzburg re­gions, its two big­gest re­gions in the prov­ince, would host the Jan­uary 8th State­ment and the elec­tion man­i­festo launch, re­spec­tively on Jan­uary 8 at the Harry Gwala Sta­dium and on Jan­uary 12 at the Moses Mab­hida Sta­dium.

The ANC’s head of elec­tions, Fik­ile Mbalula said they ex­pected up to 140 000 of their sup­port­ers to de­scend on the Moses Mab­hida Sta­dium and Peo­ple’s Park as part of the party’s 107th birth­day cel­e­bra­tions in its big­gest re­gion.

Since 2015 KwaZulu-Natal has been the scene of fierce fac­tional bat­tles, which have seen party members head to court over their un­hap­pi­ness about the out­come of lead­er­ship tus­sles. The party fi­nally held a pro­vin­cial con­fer­ence in July and elected a new lead­er­ship. ANC pro­vin­cial sec­re­tary Mdu­miseni Ntuli said there was huge ex­cite­ment in the prov­ince over ANC pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa’s pre­sid­ing over the first ma­jor ANC event un­der the new pro­vin­cial lead­er­ship.

At the party’s 106th birth­day cel­e­bra­tions in East Lon­don for­mer pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma was booed sev­eral times when he ar­rived late at the event, but Ntuli said they did not an­tic­i­pate any neg­a­tiv­ity.

How­ever, Ntuli said he was aware that in­ci­dents such as the boo­ing and heck­ling of lead­ers were a re­flec­tion of an or­gan­i­sa­tion that was not united. “When you’re boo­ing lead­er­ship you’re un­der­min­ing the ANC, so you would have such in­stances where when there’s a lot of un­hap­pi­ness, com­rades who are not very steeped into the cul­ture of the move­ment will de­cide to do things such as boo­ing lead­er­ship. “But we be­lieve, as a prov­ince, a great deal of work has been done to unify the prov­ince.

“We went to a (pro­vin­cial) con­fer­ence, we elected a lead­er­ship that rep­re­sents all in­ter­ests in the prov­ince, and we are now con­sol­i­dat­ing struc­tures in ar­eas that were af­fected by the 2016 lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions over the past few months,” Ntuli said.

Even some dis­grun­tled branches of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal are will­ing to put aside their dif­fer­ences with the pro­vin­cial lead­er­ship to rally be­hind the cel­e­bra­tions and the elec­tion cam­paign.

In the ANC’s Moses Mab­hida re­gion (Pi­eter­mar­itzburg) up to 85 branches are dis­grun­tled over the re­gion still not be­ing able to hold its re­gional con­fer­ence, and the branches are at log­ger­heads with the re­gional task team (RTT), which they feel was im­posed on them.

How­ever, de­spite this un­hap­pi­ness the branches have de­cided to rally be­hind the up­com­ing birth­day cel­e­bra­tions and elec­tion man­i­festo launch to show that they are “dis­ci­plined members of the ANC”.

Sithem­biso Nkuna, a spokesper­son for the 85 branches, said they were go­ing to mo­bilise the branches to at­tend both the Jan­uary 8th State­ment and the elec­tion man­i­festo launch. “This is our or­gan­i­sa­tion and we can’t let some­thing tem­po­rary as this RTT stop us; it is our dream and our wish that the sta­dium be filled to ca­pac­ity and we will be mo­bil­is­ing strongly to ensure that,” Nkuna said.

He said branches would not ex­press their un­hap­pi­ness by boo­ing and heck­ling as they had urged their branches to ex­er­cise the high­est level of discipline.

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