DURBAN – Trying to iron out all legal hurdlers that could later pit them against the losing faction, the ANC’s Mzala Nxumalo (Zululand) region has opened the last window for the branches to convene branch general meetings (BGMs) to nominate candidates for their crucial regional conference.
The regional conference was billed to take place this weekend in the farming town of Vryheid in northern KwaZulu-Natal.
However, it was shelved at the 11th-hour even though the quorum was legally sufficient to allow it to go ahead with the conference.
After shelving the conference, the outgoing regional secretary, Zakhele Buthelezi, said branches that have their disputes resolved had until Sunday, April 24, 2022, to try their luck for the last time.
“The ANC in Mzala Nxumalo Region will host its 8th Regional Conference from the April 30 to May 1, 2022. Delegates will be allocated to all qualifying branches proportionate to the membership of each branch and in line with the ANC constitution.
“Delegates will be allocated to all qualifying branches proportionate to the membership of each branch and in line with the ANC Constitution.
“After Sunday, April 24, 2022, no BGMs will be convened for conference purposes save for branches ordered either by the provincial or national dispute resolution committees to rerun. Please note that the region has reached its threshold of 70% as per the guidelines,” Buthelezi wrote to branches late on Friday.
Buthelezi said that the window was only opened to seven branches even though there were 23 branches that did not qualify to take part in the conference.
NEWS: These are the slates vying for power in the Mzala Nxumalo (Zululand) region. One slate is led by Sbu Mhlongo and the other is led by Mpumelelo Zulu. The elective conference of the region which was behind Ramaphosa in 2017 will be held in Vryheid next weekend. @DailyNewsSA pic.twitter.com/JBWBQF7s7Z— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) April 24, 2022
The entire region, which is home to towns such as Ulundi, Nongoma, Pongola, Dumbbell and Vryheid, and the third biggest region after eThekwini and Musa Dladla (Mpangeni-Richards Bay), has 95 branches.
He also confirmed that they have reserved Wednesday as another date for BGMs if a need arose from the week’s sittings.
“That will only happen if the district resolutions committee decides in that way after the sitting of this weekend,” he said.
In 2017 at the Nasrec conference, where ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa was up against Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the region firmly stood behind the incumbent leader.
However, the region has now fragmented into two factions fighting for regional power, with the former Ramaphosa backers having turned against each other, weakening a block he would desperately need in December this year as he fights for a second term.
One slate is led by Sbu Mhlongo, the outgoing regional chairperson who, together with the late regional chairperson, Sipho Nkosi, backed Ramaphosa.
Mhlongo, who was until November last year the mayor of Uphongolo Municipality, is up against a slate led by Mpumelelo Zulu.
Zulu once denied that he was a Ramaphosa man, telling Independent Media that his campaign had nothing to do with the ANC leader and he was a product of support from all structures of the region.
Mhlongo was allegedly being backed by the RET faction of the region and was asked about this in January this year. He elected to state that he did not like discussing internal ANC issues with the media.