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Zandile Gumede’s team assures Thabani Nyawose aligned councillors’ jobs are safe, but there are conditions

Zandile Gumede supporters in their numbers at the Durban ICC. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)

Zandile Gumede supporters in their numbers at the Durban ICC. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Apr 11, 2022

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Durban – Facing the media for the first time, the winning Zandile Gumede teams have assured councillors that contested the Thabani Nyawose slate who lost at the ANC eThekwini regional conference on Sunday, that their jobs are safe.

However, there are conditions for that and one of the stringent conditions is that they should respect newly elected leadership.

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One of the people whose job is feared to be on the line is Thanduxolo Sabela who lost the position of deputy regional secretary to Nkosenhle Madlala.

Sabela is the chairperson of the all-powerful economic development and planning committee which is in charge of city development projects worth billions of rand in the eThekwini Municipality.

Known for allegedly being abrasive and politically ambitious in the local ANC circles, Sabela had a fallout with Gumede whom he supported when she was first elected to the position in 2016. They later had a bitter fallout and nobody knows what sparked their feud.

Sounding reconciliatory on Sunday shortly after their victory, Gumede’s ally and regional deputy, Thembo Ntuli said they are not in the process of reconfiguring the local government sphere as the elections were purely of the ANC in the region.

“We were in the process of electing the region (al structure), not the government (municipal leaders) and as a movement after the elections when you have elected the leadership, the task of the leadership is to work with the deployees of the movement,” Ntuli said.

The new regional secretary, Musa Nciki, another ally of Gumede was emphatic that the relationship between them and their deployees in the only metro in KwaZulu-Natal should be characterised by mutual respect for it to work.

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“Our responsibility, for now, is to do organisational work. Yes, we will look at government work but we are also going to look at comrades as comrades, not as opponents, they are not our opponents. It is just that they have a different view and democracy prevailed. But we are also going to embrace them. We will respect as we are also going to require them to respect us as well and if we have that mutual respect ,we will be able to work together,” Nciki said.

On other matters, Nciki said they are acutely aware of what needs to be done to restore the region to its former glory. In about 2009, the region’s card-carrying membership was almost half a million under the leadership of the then regional chairperson, the late John Mchunu.

The latest statistics show that it has about 76 000 members and Gumede’s detractors attributed the decline of the region to her, claiming that with her blessing, her loyalists are practising gatekeeping and purging those with dissenting voices.

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However, Nciki defended Gumede by saying that cannot be blamed on the region chairperson as that position does not entail dealing with organisational work.

“According to our responsibilities, the membership is the responsibility of the office of the secretary,” Nciki said.

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