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ANC power struggle in motion as Thanduxolo Sabela questions removal as eThekwini whip of exco

Thanduxolo Sabela. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo

Thanduxolo Sabela. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo

Published Apr 28, 2022

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Durban – The fight for power and turf in the eThekwini Municipality seems to have begun in earnest after one of the leaders of the ANC in the region raised questions about his sudden removal from one of the municipal positions.

Thanduxolo Sabela, the once all-powerful former provincial ANC youth league leader and the member of the municipality’s executive committee (exco) who is also the chairperson of the economic development and planning committee and whip of exco, has written to the provincial secretary, Mdumiseni Ntuli, indirectly seeking his intervention.

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In his letter, which was sent late on Wednesday, Sabela seeks to know the time frames regarding his sudden removal from the position.

The position of exco whip entails co-ordinating the work of ANC deployees in the executive committee and it does not have financial benefits except for the political power that comes with it.

His removal was first announced on Tuesday by the newly elected regional executive committee (REC) following its first meeting in Durban at the weekend.

The REC announced that the position would be taken by Nkosenhle Madlala, the new deputy regional secretary, who, ironically, defeated Sabela three weeks ago at the fiercely contested regional conference where the Zandile Gumede faction defeated the one led by Thabani Nyawose.

Sabela wants Ntuli to provide clarity over the decision as he seems to believe it was not given the green light from the top.

“I was assigned by the organisation following the 2021 local government elections the responsibility of being whip of exco which I have carried out for the past 4 months. I have since learnt through a media statement by the newly elected regional leadership that in its first REC meeting, I have been recalled from the responsibility of being whip of exco and the responsibility has been assigned to the new deputy secretary of the ANC in the Region.

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I, therefore wish to seek clarity on the time frame in which I am expected to tender my resignation from the position. I understand that the matter has been finalised by the deployment committee as it would have not found itself in the organisation’s statement if it was not finalised,” Sabela wrote to Ntuli.

The spokesperson of the ANC in the province, Nhlakanipho Ntombela, asked that questions regarding this matter be directed to Ntuli and Sabela.

The spokesperson of the ANC in the region, Mlondolozi Mkhize was scathing in his comment. He said there is no time frame given to Sabela to resign, adding that all councillors of the ANC in the municipality account to the region and now and again, they will be called to meetings.

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“The letter to the provincial secretary was not necessary, he should have asked the REC and we would have explained everything to him. Why leak the letter to the media then? There was no need to write to Mdumiseni and later leak the letter... It appears that he was seeking public sympathy,” Mkhize said.

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