Durban — Umlazi-born entrepreneur Sandile Zungu, who is also president of AmaZulu FC, looks poised to upset the apple cart at the ANC’s KwaZulu-Natal elective conference next month, after making inroads in the past few weeks.
The Daily News can now reveal that Zungu has managed to successfully sway the pro-Jacob Zuma bloc in the province in his favour.
Equally, he has also been able to win over the entire Zandile Gumede bloc in the eThekwini region, bringing in much-needed numbers as he seeks to be the next chairperson of the ANC in the province.
A source close to the Zungu lobby group claimed that he has won over the Musa Dladla and Mzala Nxumalo regions in eThekwini, and was making inroads in the Moses Mabhida region. Collectively, all these regions have been won by candidates who are pro-former president Zuma and are RET (radical economic transformation) proponents.
“The RET grouping has been finally convinced to support Zungu at the conference… It took a lot of hard work to do so. In the end, they agreed to support him because he enjoys a warm relationship with uBaba (Zuma),” said a source close to Zungu.
Ntando Khuzwayo, a Zuma supporter who is also the spokesperson of the supporters of Zandile Gumede, refused to comment regarding their backing of Zungu. “None whatsoever,” Khuzwayo said when the Daily News asked him for comment.
In April, a few days before the elective conference of the eThekwini region, Zungu attended a head-count event of the Zandile Gumede faction.
Asked at the time whether his attendance of the Zandile Gumede faction’s event meant that he was endorsing it, he said no, but he enjoyed a cordial relationship with her and Thabani Nyawose, who was competing for the same position.
“I support the ANC in eThekwini irrespective of who emerges between the competing personalities. I enjoy very cordial relationships with both comrades Zandile Gumede and Thabani Nyawose, and the individual comrades in their line-ups.
“My appearance and brief message yesterday (April) emphasised the need for maximum unity within the ANC and that the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal should rebuild the trust among the communities so as to achieve a decisive victory come the 2024 national and provincial elections. I remain a loyal and disciplined member of the ANC in good standing, based in eThekwini’s ward 81,” Zungu said back then.
Zungu did not respond when he was asked to confirm or deny whether his lobbying has been successful in winning over the pro-Zuma RET grouping in the province.
While opening the conference a few days later, Premier Sihle Zikalala crossed swords with the RET faction by accusing its leaders of paying lip service to the (RET) policy while they were in power.
Zungu is expected to take on the incumbent provincial chairperson, Zikalala, who is also facing a challenge from a faction called the Taliban, which has Bheki Mtolo, mayor of Kokstad, as its provincial secretary candidate. The provincial conference is set to be held from July 15 to 17, in a city and at a venue yet to be decided by the provincial executive committee.