Durban – Despite having a promising start, the wife of a minister who is a Cyril Ramaphosa loyalist has dismally failed to win one of the critical regional elective conferences in KwaZulu-Natal.
Thembeka Mchunu, the wife of Water and Sanitation Minister, Senzo Mchunu, was on Sunday morning beaten hands down by a late-comer while contesting to become the next chairperson of the Musa Dladla region (King Cetshwayo District) in KwaZulu-Natal.
The region is the fourth largest in the province after eThekwini, Mzala Nxumalo (Zululand) and Moses Mabhida (Umgungundlovu).
UPDATE:Musa Cebekhulu is the new chair of the ANC in the Musa Dladla region. He successfully elbowed out Thembeka Mchunu and Mdu Mhlongo despite having been a last minute contender. His slate includes Nathi Xulu as regional secretary and Simanga Mgenge as treasurer. @DailyNewsSA— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) May 15, 2022
At first, it was thought that it would be easy sailing for Mchunu, because her slate included Tholi Gwala, the former regional secretary and Lindo Phungula, the former mayor of the King Cetshwayo District Municipality.
Her slate was initially up against one which was led by Mdu Mhlongo, the former regional chairperson who was also the mayor of the City of Umhlathuze (Mpangeni-Richards Bay).
Before the regional structure was disbanded, Mchunu was Mhlongo’s deputy and they had a fallout that resulted in them forming two rival slates.
UPDATE: Nominations for positions at the ongoing ANC Musa Dladla regional conference has started. So far there are three contenders for the position of chairperson; Thembeka Mchunu, Musa Cebekhulu and Mdu Mhlongo. This means that Mhlongo & Cebekhulu are on each other's throats.— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) May 14, 2022
Ahead of the conference, the Daily News reported that there was a clandestine campaign to ditch both Mchunu and Mhlongo and get Musa Cebekhulu, a school principal, elected to lead the region.
Some felt that the ANC lost power to the IFP under their watch, hence they should not be re-elected. When the nominations for the conference held at Meet Makaar near Mtubatuba got under way, Cebekhulu was noisily nominated from the floor and he accepted it, pitting himself against the two.
He went on to convincingly trounce both Mchunu and Mhlongo to lead the region, incorporating towns like Eshowe, Nkandla, Richards Bay, Melmoth, Mpangeni and Mtunzini. Cebekhulu garnered 161 votes, while Mchunu got 92 votes and Mhlongo scored the lowest with 74.
Under Cebekhulu’s slate, Nathi “Madzanga” Xulu was elected regional secretary, while former Umfolozi mayor, Simanga Mgenge, was elected regional treasurer, narrowly defeating Phungula.