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Harry Gwala chair’s re-election a ‘boost for Zweli Mkhize’s ANC presidential ambitions’

Zamo Nxumalo and Zweli Mkhize.

Zamo Nxumalo and Zweli Mkhize.

Published Apr 11, 2022

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Durban - It would seem that Zweli Mkhize’s ANC presidential ambitions have been boosted following the re-election of Zamo Nxumalo as chairperson of Harry Gwala region at the weekend.

The region, which includes Ixopo, Mzimkhulu, Kokstad and Bulwer towns held its elective conference at Bhongweni township in Kokstad from Saturday until Sunday. The Daily News understands that Nxumalo chairs the caucus that pushes Mkhize’s campaign to the highest office in Luthuli House. Nxumalo defeated his former secretary Sindi Msomi, who challenged him for the chairperson position, by 196 to 96 votes when the results was announced on Saturday night.

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His slate made a clean sweep, taking all the top five positions contested. Speaking to the Daily News moments after his re-election Nxumalo laughed and denied he was Mkhize’s lobbyist. He did, however, say that he has respect for Mkhize, and he was his former chair in the province.

Mkhize also scored another victory last week when the Lower South Coast region elected Mondli Chiliza as chairperson. Chiliza, who backed Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in 2017, was said to be behind Mkhize this time.

On Sunday, Mkhize attended Chiliza’s daughter’s funeral. The 13-year-old was apparently struck by lightning last week, which forced Chiliza to abandon the conference and rush home.

Mkhize was expected to be endorsed by his Moses Mabhida region, which elected its new leadership earlier this year. The General Gizenga Mpanza Region (KwaDukuza) is said to be behind him as well.

Nxumalo’s win was also described as good news for Nomusa Dube-Ncube’s ambitions to take over as provincial chairperson. He is said to be backing a slate that wants Dube-Ncube as chairperson and Bheki Mtolo as provincial secretary. Dube-Ncube is provincial treasurer and Finance MEC while Mtolo is the former provincial ANC Youth League secretary and current Kokstad mayor.

Msomi’s defeated slate was said to be pushing for both Sihle Zikalala and Mdumiseni Ntuli to retain their positions as chairperson and secretary respectively when the province sits in July and was expected to throw its weight behind president Cyril Ramaphosa’s second term.

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Nxumalo denied that he was backing Dube-Ncube, saying that when the time was right the region would announce its provincial and national preferences.

Mtolo had in the past dismissed as rumours that he wanted any top five position in the provincial leadership and said he thought the provincial leadership had fairly young comrades who must be allowed to serve their second terms. A provincial slate that would want Nxumalo’s region’s backing would have to contend with his demands. He said his new leadership would push for a seat in the provincial top five and not less than three members in the provincial executive committee. He also wants members from the region in the legislature after the 2024 national general elections.

“Although we cannot attach a name for now … I can guarantee you that we will have our member in the top five provincial leadership after the July conference. You will remember that in 2015 we had the late comrade Mluleki Ndobe as deputy secretary so we want to reclaim our seat. Apart from that we want not to have less than three direct PEC members from Harry Gwala region,” said Nxumalo.

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Opening the conference deputy provincial secretary Sipho Hlomuka urged members to use the conference to ponder about the direction the movement was taking, and whether the revolution was still on course following the loss the party suffered during the local government elections.

Daily News

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