Nhlanhla Ngidi Picture: Nqobile Mbonambi/African News Agency (ANA)

Durban - The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal wants former provincial director-general Nhlanhla Ngidi to explain why he chose to go to the media to disclose that he had been approached to be eThekwini’s deputy mayor, the offer that he declined.

Ngidi had on Friday told eNCA in an exclusive interview that he was unimpressed when the ANC approached him to be deputy mayor of eThekwini under Mxolisi Kaunda who the party has nominated to be the mayor.

Ngidi said he declined the offer because the ANC had not considered his seniority.

ANC provincial spokesperson Ricardo Mthembu said the party did not appoint people based on their seniority. 

“There are many people who are more senior than the current president (Cyril Ramaphosa) but they are not president.

“We are surprised by his comment, he is the person we respect, but if he is senior he should display his seniority by not disclosing what he discussed with the leadership,” said Mthembu.

Mthembu said if he was senior, Ngidi should have accepted the deputy mayor’s position and used it to assist the young person, Kaunda, to grow “as seniors in the organisation grow the young ones”. 

“We want to know why he disclosed this to the media. We have to ask him, whether face-to-face or otherwise. We want to know why should we debate with our seniors through the media,” said Mthembu. 

Ngidi said prior to the ANC provincial executive committee announcing its candidates for the replacement of its fired eThekwini executive members, including Zandile Gumede, he had been informally informed that the party’s deployment committee had decided that he would be choice for the mayoral position.

“It came as a surprise to me when I was offered formally the position of deputy mayor. My feeling was that there was a very important aspect that the leadership was ignoring, and that was my seniority,” he said. 

This might be interpreted that Ngidi viewed Kaunda, who is the current Transport, Safety and Community Liaison MEC, as his political junior. 

He also described the political chaos in eThekwini as tragic for the ANC. 

“I doubt if the people of the city are gaining confidence in its ability to govern the city. But it is a tragedy most importantly because service delivery had almost come to a standstill, and you cannot have a situation, for whatever reason, where government is unable to make the life of its citizens better,” he said. 

He said Gumede, who had this week stunned the country by retracting her resignation, should quickly resign. 

He added the current squabble between Gumede and the ANC provincial leadership would not produce any winner. 

“Everybody at the present moment would lose, including Zandile. It is a serious risk not because the people do not like the ANC, but people will just stay away from voting because they are not happy with what is happening at the present moment,” said Ngidi. 

Political Bureau