RET forces said to be leading branch nominations in the biggest regions in KZN
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DURBAN - THE Radical Economic Transformation forces are said to be leading branch nominations in the biggest regions in KwaZulu-Natal as branch general meetings (BGMs) continue in the run-up to the long-awaited regional conferences.
Branches that supported Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma at the 54th ANC national conference in 2017, appear to have regrouped after CR17 forces narrowly thrashed them. The faction seems to be doing well in the province's biggest regions, which are eThekwini and Moses Mabhida in Pietermaritzburg.
In eThekwini, former mayor Zandile Gumede's lobbyist Ntando Khuzwayo said things were going well for their side. He said out of 27 branches, 18 had nominated Gumede to be the party’s regional chairperson.
Khuzwayo said as branches, they were bothered by the party's national executive decision that Gumede must step aside because she was facing corruption charges.
He said their understanding was that they could nominate her but she would not assume her position until the case ends. Khuzwayo also said another reason why branches continued to nominate her was that she and 12 other members, whose names were submitted by the province to the head office to step aside, had not been suspended yet.
Khuzwayo also told the Daily News on Wednesday that their branches would oppose holding fresh BGMs after they were disqualified because it was not the branches' fault, but technical glitches at the head office.
He said they would propose to the ANC that it abandons the IT system and return to manuals.
Gumede will be up against Thabani Nyawose, who was a key lobbyist for the CR17 campaign in 2017.
Nyawose’s chief lobbyist, who did not want to be named, laughed off Khuzwayo's claims and said it was a total lie.
He said it was not true that Gumede's faction was leading with such a big margin and said as far as he knew, Gumede's side was over his faction with only one branch.
He said he was planning to call a media briefing to “show real numbers so that the public know the truth, not the wishes of Gumede's camp”.
“We don't understand who they are going to elect in the conference because Zandile Gumede won't be there because by the time the conference sits, she would have been suspended as she was supposed to step aside,” said Nyawose.
Meanwhile in the Moses Mabhida region, Mzi Zuma's faction is set to make a clean sweep in the conference.
Richmond Municipality mayor Samora Ndovu, who is contesting a secretarial position in Zuma's slate, said out of 53 branches that have sat, 43 were already in their bag.
He said his faction's strength was that it was a mix up of NDZ, CR17 and former Zweli Mkhize's branches. Zuma was a key lobbyist for the NDZ camp and a staunch supporter of former president Jacob Zuma who is also associated with RET forces.
The Daily News has also learnt that branches that supported Dlamini Zuma were not comfortable being called RET forces but preferred being called pro-Zuma branches.
Zuma will lock horns with his former chairperson Mthandeni Dlungwane, who is appearing as chairperson in their merger with Thulani Xulu's faction.
Dlungwane's lobbyist Sithembiso Nkuna said it was true that Zuma's camp was leading, but it was still early to claim victory because there were branches that must re-run and some were still in dispute.
“Anything can happen.
“We are still left with more than 40 branches,” said Nkuna.