Former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede. Picture: Bongani Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA)

Durban - Fresh from her axing, former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede and her supporters have started staging a party campaign to run the eThekwini ANC region again and, by extension, to have a say in the municipality.

At the elective conference to be held before the year ends, Gumede will be up against Thabani Nyawose, an opponent some political analysts believe is weak.

Her backers are insisting that should they win the regional conference as expected, they would want to “assert” their authority in the party structures and later the eThekwini municipality, where Gumede was replaced by Mxolisi Kaunda.

Mzomuhle Dube, the spokesperson for Gumede’s supporters, said that they had no qualms with Kaunda as mayor and would be happy to work with him, but “it must be clear that the regional leadership is now in office”.

“There will be a big fight once she wins, we will be fighting to regain the authority of the region because the province has been taken over,” Dube said.

However, ANC provincial spokesperson Ricardo Mthembu said having a regional chairperson who was not the mayor would not be something new and that there were several regions where this was the case.

“We will deal with that issue once we are faced with it,” Mthembu said.

Political analyst Thabani Khumalo said the balance of factional forces in the region showed that Gumede was highly likely to win the elective conference. He added that a win for Gumede would spell disaster for Zikalala as she was angry with the way she had been kicked out of office.

He said Zikalala was already facing a hostile Moses Mabhida region that was also heading for a conference.

Political Bureau