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Former Police commissioner Bheki Cele’s branch, ward 74 in Lamontville, has nominated Jacob Zuma for a second term as president.
This, despite belief in some quarters that Cele would sway some of the branches in KwaZulu-Natal against Zuma.
The former police commissioner’s relationship with Zuma soured after he was removed from his position.
Cele who did not attend the branch general meeting held on Sunday was also not nominated by the branch for any position.
The eThekwini region which Cele led as chairman also nominated Zuma at the weekend.
Before his appointment as national commissioner, Cele served as one of the 80 additional members of the ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC), but he was forced to vacate the seat to take the police job. His supporters believe that he could still be in the running for a position in the NEC to be elected at Mangaung.
“What the region decided on cannot be read to be indicative of what will come out of Mangaung,” Cele’s spokesman Vuyo Mkhize said.
He said that Cele had not attended the branch meeting because he had a family engagement. “Besides that he wanted to remove himself from issues at that branch because he felt that he was now being made the issue as if there are no genuine issues at that branch”.
The branch – which has been beset by infighting – was sitting for the second time after its last meeting over a week ago degenerated into chaos.
On Sunday some members walked out of the meeting complaining about the way in which the election of branch leaders was being handled.
They were not present during the process to nominate candidates for leadership positions at Mangaung.