Durban – Sihle Zikalala has been elected unopposed as chairman of the African National Congress in KwaZulu-Natal, just six months shy of his suspension from the same post.
Zikalala, who is also the MEC for economic development and tourism in the province, stood unopposed for the position at the party’s provincial conference as voting got under way at the Durban University of Technology late on Friday night and continued into the morning.
The conference is a re-run of the eighth provincial conference held in 2015 – at which Zikalala was elected as chairman - that was declared invalid by the Pietermaritzburg High Court last year. The court ruling led to the ANC mother body suspending the province’s official leadership and installing an interim leadership team.
Zikalala and Mike Mabuyakhulu – who is contesting the deputy chairman position - were installed as co-ordinator and convenor respectively to unify the fractured province and pave the way for the conference re-run.
Also elected unopposed late on Friday night was Nomusa Dube-Ncube, who returns as the party’s treasurer, a position she too occupied before the suspension. Dube-Ncube is the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for co-operative governance and traditional affairs.
Voting for the positions of deputy chair, secretary and deputy secretary are currently under way.
Willies Mchunu and Mabuyakhulu were both nominated for the deputy chair position, which Mchunu occupied before the suspension. Mchunu is premier of KwaZulu-Natal and Mabuyakhulu is the former MEC for economic development and tourism.
Super Zuma and Mdumiseni Ntuli are contesting the coveted and powerful position of provincial secretary, a full-time post. Zuma held the position before the January suspension; Ntuli was the party’s provincial spokesperson.
Zuma is favoured by those seeking a “status quo” outcome, while Ntuli is favoured by the provincial youth league – where he was once a leader - and those seeking younger leadership and a “unity” candidate.
Bongi Sithole-Moloi, Mluleki Ndobe and Sipho Hlomuka are contesting the deputy secretary position, which Ndobe held before the leadership suspension.
African News Agency/ANA