Premier Dube-Ncube speaks on trophy saga as ANC KZN fires back at ANCWL

KZN Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube speaks to the media on the sidelines of the KZN Government's Festive Season and Safety Plan for 2023. Picture: KZNGov / Instagram

KZN Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube speaks to the media on the sidelines of the KZN Government's Festive Season and Safety Plan for 2023. Picture: KZNGov / Instagram

Published Nov 7, 2023


KZN Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube has spoken for the first time since the world cup trophy lifting saga where her Economic Development MEC, Sboniso Duma, is accused of towering over her and undermining her by lifting the trophy for a photo opportunity with Bok forward Eben Etzebeth.

Duma has been criticised for going against government protocol, leaving Dube-Ncube in her shadows, when she was called upon to lift the trophy with the player outside the Durban City Hall during the KZN leg of the Springboks trophy tour.

The ANC Women's League has heavily criticised Duma for his actions, and opposition parties have also weighed in. The Democratic Alliance (DA) said that Dube-Ncube deserves an apology, while the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) accused Duma of having no respect for women. Duma has not apologised to date.

The premier was door-stopped by members of the media during the launch of the KZN government’s festive season safety plan event on Tuesday, and she appeared to tread carefully on the matter.

“I do not believe that I can be overshadowed; I am a woman enough, I am a leader enough, and I do not believe any woman at any time needs to feel overshadowed,” she said to Newzroom Afrika.

“I think we need to understand that we (women) are leaders in our own right, and we should not feel intimidated in any way or in any shape or form,” she said.

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The ANC KZN secretary, Bheki Mtolo, also released a statement on Tuesday claiming he was in possession of a letter from Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube in which it claims she asked Duma to take part in the trophy lifting due to her height.

Duma and Etzebeth are of similar height, while Dube-Ncube is significantly shorter.

The ANC KZN leadership has hit out at the ANCWL and said they took “exception to the current leadership ANCWL statement in which it attacked Duma without facts”.

“For the record, we have correspondence from Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube indicating that it had been agreed to allow Cde Duma to lift the trophy. “This was a collective decision, and at no stage did Cde Duma impose himself,” said Mtolo.

He shared a paragraph which was apparently from Dube-Ncube as addressed to Mtolo as the provincial secretary.

It reads: “Nobhala (secretary) and officials, please let’s not allow these detractors to play cheap politics at dividing the ANC and the public. We actually laughed with Comrade Mthombeni (Duma) yesterday about the fact that he is the one that will match Elizabeth (Etzebeth) because of his height.”

Mtolo accused the ANCWL of being “the loudhailers of the chorus peddled by forces opposed to the ANC”.

“Under normal circumstances, we would have expected the ANCWL to engage the ANC provincial leadership using internal processes instead of this reckless posture that is divisive and factional at its best,” said Mtolo.

The ANC KZN has singled out ANCWL deputy secretary general Dina Pule, accusing her of enriching her boyfriend when she was in Cabinet as a minister, while saying Duma was a leader who had delivered KZN’s first woman premier and who had ensured KZN had a majority women cabinet in the province.

Ten years ago, former president Jacob Zuma fired Pule from her communications minister post after Werksmans Attorneys, on behalf of MTN, revealed that her alleged lover, Phosane Mngqibisa, benefited improperly from the ICT Indaba held in Cape Town in 2012, to the tune of R6 million.

In what appeared to be aimed at Pule, Mtolo said, “We call upon the ANCWL to do an honest introspection. They must assess the performance of its current leaders serving at the national level.

“The question is: when given a huge responsibility to manage public funds, have they done so in the best interest of the women of our country? Can they safely state that every cent was spent to benefit the ordinary poor women of our country?

“If they find that at some point in history one or more of their leaders failed this responsibility, they must ask themselves if such leader/leaders qualify to lead and represent women of our country in any of the ANCWL structures,” said Mtolo.

Duma was elected ANC KZN chairperson last year at the provincial elective conference held at the Olive Convention Centre in Durban, but he did not take up the KZN premiership, which was vacated by Sihle Zikalala after he lost at the conference.

Instead, the party opted for Dube-Ncube to occupy the position and become the first woman premier in KZN.

In a strongly worded statement earlier this week, the ANCWL’s Pule said it was deeply concerned by the “ongoing and regrettable actions” of Duma, which were repeatedly undermining the authority and leadership of Premier Dube-Ncube.

“These regrettable actions not only continue to undermine the authority of the premier of the province but also betray the principles of non-sexism and gender equality that are fundamental to the ANC's ideology.

“Gender equality is not just an ideal but a fundamental principle that the ANC identifies with.

“The actions of Comrade Duma demonstrate a regrettable departure from this essential value, perpetuating harmful gender stereotypes which have no place within the ANC or in broader political discourse,” Pule said.

The ANCWL had called on Duma to desist from undermining Dube-Ncube and apologise for the events of Saturday outside the Durban City Hall.

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