Jessie Duarte sent to deal with eThekwini tensions, say insiders
Durban - Amid the political chaos in eThekwini municipality, deputy secretary general of the ANC Jessie Duarte is due in Durban on Tuesday to meet with party structures.
The meeting will include provincial executive committee members (PEC) and over 100 ANC councillors in the troubled municipality.
Among the issues to be discussed is the political impasse in eThekwini metro and the impasse in the ANC eThekwini region where one faction is rejecting the regional task team which was put in place when the regional executive committee was disbanded.
Senior members who were seen walking into the party’s headquarters in central Durban include Mluleki Ndobe, the convener of the disputed eThekwini ANC region task team. Earlier, the provincial chairperson, Sihle Zikalala, was seen leaving with his squad of bodyguards.
Although the agenda of the meeting has been kept under wraps, Independent Media was able to establish that Duarte was going tell the party councillors to toe the line and vote for the incoming mayor, Mxolisi Kaunda and his team.
One insider said the risk was that further infighting may see the metro council dissolved, thus putting the party in a tight corner.
“Duarte will tell them that they must toe the line in order to avoid more suspensions and urge them to close ranks in the wake of the divisions,” the source said.
Another source said it was a foregone conclusion that the outgoing mayor Zandile Gumede, will not be returning to the position despite her appeal to the party’s top six on Monday. He said the party now wants unity more than anything after the crippling divisions.
“The PEC admitted that it did not follow the right processes but pleaded that the decision to appoint Kaunda must stand because reversing it will cause chaos,” the informer said.
The party’s spokesperson in KZN, Ricardo Mthembu, said the meeting will be chaired by Duarte and the outcome would be announced later on Tuesday.
The spokesperson of the backers of Gumede, Mzomuhle Dube, said they were also not aware what was to be discussed as everything was kept confidential after Monday’s meeting at Luthuli House in Johannesburg.