ANC KZN appoints Nhlakanipho Ntombela as new provincial spokesperson
Durban - The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has named Nhlakanipho Ntombela as its new provincial spokesperson with immediate effect.
Ntombela replaces the late Ricardo Mthembu who succumbed to Covid-19 complications earlier this month.
The appointment of Ntombela was announced by the party’s provincial secretary, Mdumiseni Ntuli, during a press conference held in Durban on Tuesday.
Ntuli said the decision was taken during the party’s monthly provincial executive committee (PEC) meeting which was held virtually on Monday.
“The provincial executive committee has decided to appoint comrade Nhlakanipho Ntombela as both the ANC provincial spokesperson and a member of the provincial working committee with immediate effect. Comrade Nhlakanipho assumes this important responsibility following a painful void left by the sudden and unexpected departure of comrade Ricardo Mthembu and may his revolutionary soul rest in eternal peace. Comrade Nhlakanipho brings a wealth of experience as the former provincial chairperson of the ANCYL (ANC youth league) and one of the longest-serving members of the ANC provincial executive committee,” Ntuli said.
Prior to the 2017 ANC Nasrec conference, Ntombela was a key backer and lobbyist of ANC President, Cyril Ramaphosa. He led and crisscrossed the province lobbying other structures of the party to support Ramaphosa who was up against Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
In the November 2015 provincial conference of the party held in Pietermaritzburg, Ntombela was on the slate of former premier and ANC provincial chair, Senzo Mchunu. In that slate which eventually lost the conference to the Sihle Zikalala - Super Zuma slate, Ntombela wanted to be a provincial secretary.
In the legal battle that ensued, challenging the legitimacy of the conference, Ntombela was on the side of ANC councillor in Vryheid, Lawrence Dube, the man who was at the forefront of the battle. He, together with other Ramaphosa backers like Mzwandile Mkhwanazi, Welcome Mdabe, Zanele Hlatswayo (former Msunduzi mayor) and Sithembiso Mshengu, occasionally graced the Pietermaritzburg high court public gallery on the side of Dube.
In July 2018, when the provincial structure held its elective conference after years of bruising factional battles, Ntombela was included in the PEC which included leaders from the two main factions.
After the May 2019 provincial and national government elections, he was returned by the provincial legislature to chair the standing committee on legislature finances. In the 2014-2019 legislature term, Ntombela chaired the portfolio committee on economic development, tourism and environmental affairs.