ANC faces dilemma in eThekwini as Zandile Gumede emerges as front runner
Durban - Months before the much-anticipated elective eThekwini regional conference convenes, the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal is facing a dilemma of two centres of power as Zandile Gumede continues to stage a spirited, on-the-ground campaign to regain control of one of the biggest regions of the party.
Gumede’s backers are insisting that should they win the regional conference and as expected, they would want to “assert” their authority in the party structures and later the eThekwini municipality, where Gumede was replaced by Mxolisi Kaunda.
Mzomuhle Dube, the spokesperson for the Gumede supporters, told Independent Media on Sunday that they have no qualms with Kaunda as mayor and they would be happy to work with him but “it must be clear that the regional leadership is now in office”.
“There will be a big fight once she wins, we will be fighting to regain the authority of the region because the province has taken over. So we have to reclaim the region’s authority in order for it to be able to manage the functioning of the eThekwini municipality. We will also look at the other issues that should be managed by the region,” Dube said.
However, the spokesperson of the ANC in KZN, Ricardo Mthembu, said having regional chairperson who is not the mayor would not be something new as there are several regions where it is not the case. Nonetheless, he said they will that bridge when they come to it.
“We will deal with that issue once we are faced with it,” Mthembu said when he was asked how they would manage two centres of power if Gumede bounces back.
Political analyst Thabani Khumalo said the balance of factional forces in the region at the present moment shows that Gumede is likely to win the elective conference.
The eThekwini regional elective conference, together with the other three regions in the province is expected be held before the end of the years folds.