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At least four of the 11 ANC regional leaders in KwaZulu-Natal have confirmed the existence of a “resolution” taken to approach President Jacob Zuma to ask him to abandon his ambitions for a second term as the country’s president.
However, they said the document was neither penned by their regions nor do they know which regional structure commissioned it.
The resolution gained momentum in November when the ANC was preparing for the national list conference, but lost traction after the death of Nelson Mandela.
The Sunday Tribune understands that of the 11 regions, only nine regions were aware of the resolution and discussed the issue and its implication.
eThekwini and Greater KwaDukuza were not part of it because, according to an ANC source, the regions chaired by Thokozani Msweli and Sibongiseni Dhlomo, are former members of uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) and “very loyal to the president”.
However, a leader from the Musa Dladla region said: “I heard about this during the provincial list conference in October last year. I just dismissed it as one of those elements that seeks to undermine our organisation”.
A top-five regional leader from Abaqulusi in Vryheid said someone from eMalahleni had called him about the “document” last month.
“I suggested that this should be discussed with the provincial executive committee and Joe Phaahla, the national executive committee convener in the province, because this is serious,” he said.
He added that the issue had been fuelled by the list nomination process that shunned many regional leaders, not by the Nkandla or e-tolls issues.
“Nkandla has been with us since the (Schabir) Shaik days and e-tolls are not part of KwaZulu-Natal so that argument that this was due to those issue is blatantly baseless,” he said.
The ANC recently decided that Zuma should be the face of its campaign and that he should be returned to office for a second term as the country’s president.
KZN, Zuma’s home province and bastion, has always put on a united front.
“The last two provincial conferences of June 2008 and May 2012 were a clear demonstration of the support Zuma enjoyed in KwaZulu-Natal. If anything, these are foreign elements of discontentment,” the leader said.
Mluleki Ndobe, the chairman of the Harry Gwala regional branch, told the Sunday Tribune that it was not the first time he had heard about the move.
“However, I can tell you that it doesn’t exist. We have verified with ANC structures in our region and such a discussion has never taken place.
“This is a non-issue and it is not even an option for the ANC that President Zuma is our candidate as per the Mangaung resolutions. It is a matter of policy and constitution and such a resolution won’t fly.”
Moses Mabhida regional secretary Supa Zuma echoed Ndobe saying while he had not come across such a resolution, the matter was “a non-issue”.
A regional leader from Okhahlamba said he was not aware of this issue.
“Who would want to go against ANC resolutions? The decision was taken in Mangaung that the president of the party will be the president of country,” he said.
- Sunday Tribune