Former eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede greets incoming Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA)
Durban - As Zandile Gumede kick-starts her campaign to claim back her position as eThekwini ANC chairperson, her supporters say they want the provincial leadership to send her to provincial parliament.

In what could be seen as a desperate move to continue to lead the biggest ANC region in the country, Gumede started her campaign way ahead of her opponents.

On Sunday, the former eThekwini mayor will, for the second time, be addressing branches in Pinetown after the first gathering in uMlazi, south of Durban, on September 15.

Her campaign spokesperson Manqoba Shabane said Gumede had years of knowledge and wisdom, which would benefit the provincial government.

“We will then interact with the provincial executive committee to say where can you place her because she does have the experience to contribute,” said Shabane.

Shabane said Gumede’s supporters were not calling for her reappointment as mayor after the local government elections.

She lost the position last month after the PEC had found that she had performed poorly.

Gumede would have to wait until May next year to join Parliament since the Independent Electoral Commission had halted parties from reshuffling their MPs and MPLs for a year.

Shabane said those who supported Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma’s ANC presidential ambitions and those who wanted Health Minister Zweli Mkhize for the position ahead of 2017 Nasrec conference had united to support Gumede.

They want businessman Musa Nciki to be regional secretary.

Both Gumede, who supported Dlamini Zuma, and Nciki, who supported Mkhize, will address branches in Pinetown tomorrow.

The ANC Youth League supported President Cyril Ramaphosa’s backer Thabani Nyawose to be the new regional chairperson and Bheki Ntuli to continue as regional secretary.

Shabane said there was nothing wrong with starting the campaign before the conference was declared as the ANC had already declared the roadmap to the conference.

“We launched our campaign in uMlazi.

"We are now going to the north-west (Pinetown) to measure our strength. From the west we are going to central (CBD) and from there, we are going to the north,” he said.

The ANCYL in eThekwini said it supported its provincial chairperson Thanduxolo Sabelo to deputise Ntuli. It also said it would continue to campaign for Sabelo to be its president.

However, the league’s regional spokesperson Thulisa Ndlela said they had not started campaigning for Nyawose since this was not allowed before the declaration of the conference date.

“The league has decided that Ntuli’s deputy should be Thanduxolo.

“There is nothing stopping him from holding both positions,” said Ndlela.

ANC provincial spokesperson Richardo Mthembu said the date for the regional conference would be announced soon after completion of branch auditing, which would be “a week from now”.

He said it was wrong to start campaigning before the conference declaration.

“But they don’t violate the constitution of the ANC because in terms of the constitution, there is nothing that says you cannot start the campaign.

“It was a principle of the ANC that you don’t campaign before the conference is declared,” said Mthembu.

Political Bureau