Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Durban – Suspended African National Congress (ANC) KwaZulu-Natal chairman Sihle Zikalala is expected to be nominated unopposed as party chairman at the province’s long-awaited conference that starts on Thursday and runs until Saturday.

Zikalala is also the provincial task team coordinator. 

This will be the ANC’s second attempt at re-running its 2015 provincial conference, which was declared null and void by the Pietermaritzburg High Court late last year.  

The first attempt to re-run the conference last month had to be aborted after the same court granted an interim interdict that found the attempted re-run to be “premature and unlawful”.

That application was made by six ANC members from the troubled Harry Gwala (Kokstad area), Moses Mabhida (Pietermaritzburg area) and Lower South Coast (Port Shepstone area) regions.

The applicants said the conference should not run until the party had resolved issues of gatekeeping, membership authenticity and political violence.

On Tuesday, the province’s interim leadership said all issues had been “adequately addressed” and the KwaZulu-Natal conference would go ahead.

In a bid to bring unity to the troubled province, Zikalala is set to be nominated unopposed, as is provincial convenor Mike Mabuyakhulu to the position of deputy chair. Both men have been tasked with readying the fractured province for the conference during their interim leadership terms.

Former provincial spokesperson Mdumiseni Ntuli is the favourite for the coveted and powerful provincial secretary position, previously held by Super Zuma before the leadership was suspended by the mother body as a result of the 2017 court ruling.

Registration for the conference starts at 8 am on Thursday morning and President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to deliver the opening speech at the Durban University of Technology in the afternoon.

African News Agency/ANA