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Mkhize’s future as KZN premier unsure

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Independent Newspapers

The fate of Zweli Mkhize as KwaZulu-Natal premier is to be decided by the new national executive committee of the ANC.

Durban - The fate of Zweli Mkhize as KwaZulu-Natal premier is to be decided by the ANC’s new national executive committee (NEC).

Mkhize was elected treasurer-general of the ANC on Tuesday, and taking this new position might mean that he has to relinquish both his positions as premier and chairman of the party in the province.

Mkhize, who declined to grant interviews, was only prepared to say that he was “grateful and humbled” by the faith shown in him by ANC members.

Sihle Zikalala, the ANC KZN secretary, said the NEC had the power to determine which positions were full-time. This would affect whether Mkhize may continue to serve as premier, but Zikalala would not say whether the province would make submissions to the NEC on the matter.

“This is really not an urgent issue for us as the province,” he said.

It is understood that some ANC members in the province want Mkhize to finish his term as premier, which ends in 2014.

But even if he remains premier, he will have to relinquish his position as party chairman if delegates at the conference adopt the proposal that members who get elected to a higher structure should relinquish their positions in lower structures.

KwaZulu-Natal is among the provinces pushing for this position.

But party insiders have said that even if he was to relinquish his position, the party might choose to have deputy chairman Willies Mchunu as acting premier. Zikalala said members in the province were not thinking about positions and were “not really concerned about who becomes chairman”.

He said allegations that there were divisions in the province and that some senior leaders wanted Mkhize removed from office had been “manufactured”.

Speaking on the province’s role in delivering a victory to President Jacob Zuma, Zikalala said KZN delegates did not see this as their victory. “We see it as rather a victory for the entire movement”.

KZN would continue to work with other provinces, including Limpopo and those individuals it differed with in the run-up to the Mangaung conference.

“Even if Tokyo (Sexwale) were to be elected into the NEC and again get deployed to KZN, we will work with him. We will not have any problem with that.” - Daily News


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