President Cyril Ramaphosa in eThekwini on Sunday.

For a matter of record

On Tuesday, IOL published this story, in which the ruling party was not given a right to reply. 

Below is the ANC's full response to the story.

"The African National Congress in KwaZulu-Natal rejects false claims made in the story that ANC in KwaZulu Natal revolted against President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The story published by the Independent Media publications around the country on Tuesday (April 24),  with the headline, “KZN ANC’s revolt against Cyril” is devoid of truth.

On Sunday, the ANC’s NWC and PIC members were deployed to different regions to meet with branches to assess progress on the work done in preparation for regional conferences and subsequent provincial conference.

In all the meetings there was robust engagement among the members of the ANC. There was no revolt against President Ramaphosa at any stage, as the story suggests. 

President Ramaphosa and other NWC members were deployed in the eThekwini region and they were welcomed with jubilation.

The ANC was shocked to read in Independent Media newspapers, distortions and lies about events that never took place during the meetings.

The reporter opted to base his story on faceless sources without seeking clarity from the ANC National Working Committee (NWC) members who were part of the meetings. 

He also failed to give the ANC KZN a right to reply. 

Read the story below:

Durban - President Cyril Ramaphosa faced a backlash from former president Jacob Zuma’s supporters in eThekwini, the governing party’s biggest region in KwaZulu-Natal.

Fresh from the mayhem caused by North West residents calling for the removal of Premier Supra Mahumapelo, Ramaphosa had to face hostile branch leaders in Durban who were singing songs asking him why Zuma was being persecuted, among others.

So tense was the situation that regional chairperson Zandile Gumede had to plead with the angry leaders to give Ramaphosa an opportunity to address them during a meeting held behind closed doors at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Sunday.

This was Ramaphosa’s first meeting - where some leaders were howled at when speaking - with the branches in KwaZulu-Natal since he was elected ANC president in December. Ramaphosa yesterday, with other members of the national working committee, went ahead with their fact-finding mission in the province.

The ANC leadership held another closed door, day-long meeting, with the provincial leaders at the Coastland Hotel in South Beach. Police and bodyguards were visible on the Dr Pixley Ka Seme Street.

A source and a pro-Zuma supporter said the hall at the stadium was packed with anti-Ramaphosa leaders from various branches.

“We came to the stadium prepared to be defiant against the president, but after he had addressed us we were softened and ended up clapping hands for him,” he said.

“We were impressed when he said he made it clear to British Prime Minister Theresa May (during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting) that the land issue will go ahead as per the Nasrec resolution, but it will be done in a way that wouldn’t threaten investment.

“We were also impressed with the way he related to Zandile Gumede (pro-Zuma eThekwini regional chairperson) when he even told her that he supported her leadership,” the source said.

After the meeting at the stadium a pro-Zuma video song was circulated.

“Wenzen’ * Zuma? Wenzen’ * Zuma? Khawuphendule/Wen’ ulawulwa, wen’ ulawulwa yi Propaganda/ Awu sitshele ukuth’ * Zuma wenzeni” loosely translated: “You who are controlled by propaganda tell us what wrong has Zuma done?”

Communication Minister Nomvula Mokonyane and ANC NEC member Zizi Kodwa were among the ANC leaders singing and clapping behind Ramaphosa.

A source said Ramaphosa did not seem impressed by the singing.

It also emerged that some Zuma supporters bombarded Ramaphosa with questions on why Zuma was being persecuted.

“The singing did not go well because we know that they are accusing Cyril of orchestrating Zuma’s prosecution. It was not received very well by the president.

“The atmosphere was very bad, but we expected this because comrades in eThekwini are very hostile against the president,” the source said.

Another pro-Ramaphosa supporter said other speakers who were suspected to be for the President were howled down whenever they tried to speak.

“When Thabani Nyawose stood up to talk the whole hall stood up to howl at him for more than 10 minutes. But he ended up able to raise our usual concerns of gate-keeping and branch executive meetings held without informing all members,” the source said.

“She said we should accept the Nasrec outcome and accept Ramaphosa as everyone’s president,” the source said.

Meanwhile, the ANC NWC has called on Ramaphosa to deal with allegations of rampant corruption in the North West.

Political Bureau