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Mdu Mhlongo’s political future hangs in the balance after dismal losses

Mdu Mhlongo’s political future is in doubt, after he was apparently dumped by the faction that initially wanted him as chairperson. Photo: African News Agency (ANA)/Archives

Mdu Mhlongo’s political future is in doubt, after he was apparently dumped by the faction that initially wanted him as chairperson. Photo: African News Agency (ANA)/Archives

Published Apr 25, 2022

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Durban - The camp that is perceived to be backing Dr Zweli Mkhize for ANC president in the Musa Dladla region is going to the regional conference next week, apparently divided.

This was after the camp dropped the region’s current chairperson Mdu Mhlongo who was initially nominated to retain his position. Mhlongo is the former uMhlathuze mayor.

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In the slate, seen by the Daily News, Mhlongo was no longer appearing and Cebekhulu came as chairperson and would be deputised by Dumisani Ndimande, who was not on the initial list.

Nathi “Madanga” Xulu appears as secretary to be deputised by Babhekile Mthembu, while former Mfolozi Municipality mayor Smanga Mgenge would take the treasurer position.

Mhlongo denied that he had been dumped, saying he was nominated by the branches, not by the people who are creating slates on social media.

“I am still in the running, and I was nominated by the branches. I am not bothered by what slate is without my name. Everything will be decided by the branches,” said Mhlongo.

He refused to entertain rumours that he was leaking information to other caucuses opposed to his.

Mhlongo denied that the slate that he still claims to be on would back Mkhize, saying branches would make that decision at the conference.

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The Musa Dladla region includes the Umlalazi (Eshowe), Mhlathuze (Richards Bay), Nkandla, Mthonjaneni (Melmoth) and Mfolozi (KwaMbonambi) municipalities and is now the second biggest region in the province with 107 branches after eThekwini with 111.

Cebekhulu will lock horns with Member of Parliament Thembeka Mchunu, the wife of Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu. Her slate is perceived to be fully behind President Cyril Ramaphosa for a second term. Mchunu (Senzo) was Ramaphosa’s running mate as a secretary in the 54th national conference in 2017 but he was defeated by Ace Magashule.

Xulu, who is the regional spokesperson, refused to comment and referred the enquiry to Cebekhulu who also refused to comment, saying only “lobbyist leaders would be able to say what was going on with Mhlongo”.

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One of the lobbyists said Mhlongo was dropped after branches complained the party lost all municipalities under his leadership. He said when Mhlongo took over the score was 4-2, with the ANC in control of four municipalities and the IFP of two, but after the November 1 local government polls the score was 6-0 with the IFP winning all the municipalities under Mhlongo’s leadership.

Daily News

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