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ANC factions vying for power ‘engage with’ Zandile Gumede camp

Zandile Gumede with President Cyril Ramaphosa in Clermont outside Pinetown. Picture: Bongani Mbatha: African News Agency /ANA

Zandile Gumede with President Cyril Ramaphosa in Clermont outside Pinetown. Picture: Bongani Mbatha: African News Agency /ANA

Published Apr 22, 2022


Durban - While the political scales have tipped in favour of Zandile Gumede in the ANC eThekwini region, lobbyists of some of the factions vying for provincial power in the July conference have allegedly started to coalesce around the former eThekwini mayor.

The Daily News has been reliably informed that at least two factions have made informal advances to Gumede who two weeks ago trounced the Thabani Nyawose faction to lead the eThekwini region, which is one of the biggest in KwaZulu-Natal and countrywide.

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The Daily News understands that some of the informal talks happened in Durban last week when Gumede showed up to offer support to victims of the KwaZulu-Natal floods.

The Gumede faction won power in eThekwini two weeks ago, and with its 290 votes, it is expected to decide who is going to lead the province between outgoing chairperson, Sihle Zikalala and Nomusa Dube-Ncube who is leading a rival slate.

A senior ANC member who is privy to the talks, said nowadays all roads are leading to Gumede whom everyone wants to have an audience with.

“It has become clear that anyone who wants to win the provincial conference must have the support of the people of Zandile and her faction, otherwise it will be a futile exercise. Better start talking to her now because as she slowly cements her place after being out of regional power for some time after the region was disbanded, more branches will join her camp, thus making it strong.

“It is for this reason that all the factions are making advances, trying to appease her so that she could back them. My understanding of the talks is that she is open to backing the Nomusa Dube-Ncube slate and I am not sure about the others,” the leader told the Daily News.

A person close to Gumede said they cannot confirm or deny that they are being courted, but said it was not surprising as their elective conference took place in the same year as the provincial and national ones.

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“Naturally once you take office you become a natural resource for those who have political ambitions for higher offices. They will pay you a courtesy visit, say we are behind you and we request that you also do likewise… That is expected… Mama (Gumede) and Musa Nciki (the regional secretary) are mature enough to see through all those tricks,” said the confidant of Gumede.

The confidant added that beyond the courting, they were also cautious over growing calls for Gumede to move to the province where she is lobbied to take over as provincial treasurer. He said that is meant to get her out of eThekwini so that there is a fresh contest for her position through a regional general council (RGC).

“Others are saying the call for Mama to move to the province is an opportunity for a second take, as once she moves up, there should be an RGC to elect a replacement. That will become a second bite of the regional conference. Since we are all in politics, we understand all that and we are sober enough to make decisions that are in the best interest of eThekwini,” the source said.

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Gumede herself said she has not been approached, adding that there was no time to do that as everyone is busy with the floods that recently ravaged KwaZulu-Natal.

“There is no such, no,” Gumede said when asked about the matter.

However, a lobbyist of Nomusa Dube-Ncube said their talks with the Gumede team are not new. “We started talking to them long ago and our talks are still going on.”

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Daily News