Picture: Phill Magakoe/African News Agency (ANA)

Durban - In a fashion similar to the ANC’s 2017 Nasrec conference, where positions were shared by the two main factions, the party in eThekwini is taking a similar approach, with the three factions locked in talks.

The talks were meant to ensure there is unity for the impending KZN conference and does not turn chaotic and collapse.

Leading the negotiations were the two main factions linked to former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede and regional chairperson Thabani Nyawose, a staunch President Cyril Ramaphosa supporter in the region.  

Speaking on the sidelines of a commemorative event in honour of ANC leader Oliver Tambo in Durban on Sunday, Nyawose said all groups agreed that unity was paramount to strengthen the party.

To ensure the region worked in one accord Nyawose pointed out: “I am the first person who approached Zandile in February 2018 inviting her to a discussion unity processes, I was the first one, not her, but me.

“She agreed with me but then in March 2018 she decided to pull out of the negotiations. In June this year, I went to her again.  We met and even today discussions are on and I am happy.”

When asked whether he was willing to work with Gumede in the top provincial positions if elected, Nyawose said the talks had not reached that stage. “We are not discussing positions, we are discussing the principle of unity and democracy, not positions,” he said.

Gumede confirmed there were ongoing talks in the region. “These are talks about how we will handle the conference and the issue of positions has not been touched for now. All the sides are agreeing that the conference must not be chaotic,” she said.

Gumede said the decision on who would lead the region was at the discretion of the branches and that she would not jump the gun and make speculations.

Meanwhile, Bheki Ntuli, a member of the regional task team and a former regional secretary, said the membership lists were back from Luthuli House and those with queries had to lodge them so they could be attended to.

Ntuli’s remarks come amid fears the conference may not be held this year as a recent audit revealed 60% of the branches were not in good standing.

Political Bureau