Durban – It was the end of an era for Lucky Moloi’s strong grip on the levers of the political power of the ANC’s Inkosi Bhambatha (Umzinyathi) region, when his slate was defeated by one led by a former leader of the regional ANC Women’s League in KwaZulu-Natal.
Moloi, the husband of KZN agriculture and rural development MEC and KZN ANC provincial executive committee (PEC), Bongi Sithole-Moloi, was narrowly beaten by Ntombi Ngubane.
Ngubane, the former regional secretary of the ANC Women’s League, got 125 votes to Moloi’s 111 votes ending a three-year grip on power. Moloi’s turbulent reign started three years ago when he trounced current housing MEC Jomo Sibiya, one of the few KZN allies of Cyril Ramaphosa since the ANC’s elective conference in 2012 in Mangaung.
Those who know the dynamics of the region, anchored in the coal mining town of Dundee, claimed Ngubane is close to Sibiya and the latter endorsed her as he wanted his nemesis Lucky Moloi to be ousted to end the “Moloi dynasty in the region”.
“Jomo’s only endeavour has always been to defeat Lucky Moloi, hence he decided to work with Ngubane to do so. I am sure he is happy with the results,” said an ANC insider after the results were announced.
UPDATE: The ANC's Inkosi Bhambatha elective regional conference has produced unexpected results. The slate of Lucky Moloi (husband of MEC Bongi Sithole-Moloi), which included former Umvoti mayor, Thami Ngubane, was defeated. Ntombi Ngubane is new regional chair. @DailyNewsSA pic.twitter.com/gaaVlJHRPz— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) May 22, 2022
Another said: “Ngubane and Jomo are very close, that is known in the region”, cementing the perception that the win is a major boost for the Ramaphosa faction after losing all the 10 other regions of the province to the RET forces who are yet to agree on their ANC's presidential candidate ahead of the December conference.
The entire slate of Moloi lost the contest, as even the former mayor of Umvoti (Greytown) Thami Ngubane narrowly lost to Sinethemba Hadebe. Former regional secretary Bheki Lembede who was in Moloi’s corner, lost the position of regional secretary to Lucky Khumalo while Lungi Mabaso lost the position of deputy regional secretary to Siphelele Ngcobo.
For the position of regional treasurer, Linda Ngubane narrowly defeated Patrick Mawila who was Moloi’s running mate.
Other than ending “the reign of the Molois” in the region, Ngubane’s slate made history as it became the first region in KwaZulu-Natal to get two women (the other one is Siphelele Ngcobo) elected to the regional top five in the current wave of 11 elective conferences.
The largely rural region located in the north-western part of the province includes towns like Dundee, Greytown, Nquthu and the politically volatile uMsinga. All its four local municipalities and the district is currently governed by the IFP.