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Ramaphosa setback at KZN regional conference

The newly elected leadership of the ANC in the Musa Dladla region in northern KwaZulu-Natal. The region held its elective conference this morning. Picture: ANC KwaZulu-Natal/Facebook

The newly elected leadership of the ANC in the Musa Dladla region in northern KwaZulu-Natal. The region held its elective conference this morning. Picture: ANC KwaZulu-Natal/Facebook

Published May 15, 2022

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DURBAN - The defeat of Thembeka Mchunu, who was running for the position of chairperson for the ANC in its Musa Dladla region in northern KwaZulu-Natal is a setback for President Cyril Ramaphosa.

This is the view of University of KwaZulu-Natal academic Siyabonga Ntombela who said Mchunu’s defeat should not come as a shock given how Ramaphosa’s backers in the province have fared thus far at regional conferences.

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Mchunu, the wife of Water and Sanitation Minister, Senzo Mchunu, was this morning defeated by Musa Cebekhulu, a candidate who was nominated from the floor at the conference. She had been expected to win the contest but delegates at the conference decided otherwise.

Ntombela said Mchunu’s defeat followed a trend across many parts of KwaZulu-Natal where conferences had been held.

“The president’s backers have been beaten massively in other regions, whether you look in eThekwini, and other regions, it is never a narrow margin. So is it a setback yes, but was it unexpected, the answer is no,” said Ntombela.

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He added that the defeat was also a sign of unhappiness over the president’s seeming reluctance to act on major issues affecting the country.

“People are fed up with what has been happening in the country, whether it is load shedding, unemployment or corruption and failure to act on it, and they see Ramaphosa as the head of government as the person responsible for this,” he said.

He added that the president had never enjoyed support in the province, pointing to the fact that even before getting elected in 2017 he had never campaigned in the province.

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Aside from Cebekhulu, Phiwa Mhlongo was elected deputy chairperson, Nathi Xulu was elected regional secretary and former Umfolozi mayor Simanga Mgenge, was elected regional treasurer. The region is regarded as one of the influential ones in provincial politics after eThekwini and Moses Mabhida.

The conference had been opened by Bongi Sithole-Moloi, a Provincial Executive Committee and the Provincial Working Committee Member, who urged comrades to do some introspection at the branch to the regional level on what transpired during the 2021 local government elections.

Aside from Moloi, the conference was also attended by National Executive Committee member, Nathi Mthethwa and Provincial Executive Committee members, Nomagugu Simelane as the convener of the Musa Dladla deployees, Phumlile Zulu, Njabulo Nzuza, Kwazi Mshengu, Vuyiswa Caluza, Celiwe Madlopha and Nhlaka Ntombela.

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