File photo: BONGANI MBATHA/AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY (ANA).

Parliament - A former staunch backer of Cyril Ramaphosa ahead of the ANC's 2017 elective conference, Mzwandile Mkhwanazi, has pulled out of the race to go to the National Assembly in Cape Town, allegedly telling his close comrades that accepting the deployment would mark the end of his political career.

As a result, Mkhwanazi, the former chairperson of the Lower South Coast region of the ANC, has opted to remain in KwaZulu-Natal as an ordinary provincial executive committee member.

According to a close comrade of Mkhwanazi, he politely wrote a letter to KZN provincial secretary of the ANC, Mdumiseni Ntuli, and asked not to be included, hence his name was not on the final list of the members the party will send to Cape Town.

“He felt that going to Cape Town would be suicidal for his political career as after five years he may not be considered for future political deployments by the party,” said the close comrade of Mkhwanazi.

Mkhwanazi did confirm to Independent Media that he pulled out of the list, saying he did so without any malice and he was not pushed out as part of low intensity factional fights within the ANC’s top structures in KZN, as alleged in some quarters of the party.

“It is not true that I was removed but I asked them to remove me as I felt that there are experienced members who can do a better job. We also have young members who should go there,” Mkhwanazi said, adding that he was happy to give way to others and remain in the province.  

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