Police stand guard outside ANC KZN headquarters in Durban on Monday against picketing party members. Picture: ANA

Durban – African National Congress (ANC) protesters who were picketing outside the party’s provincial headquarters in Durban on Monday, were told the interim leadership team would meet with them next week.

A group of about 60 protesters started picketing and singing outside the provincial headquarters on Stalwart Simelane Street from noon onward as convenor of the interim leadership team, Mike Mabuyakhulu, and coordinator, Sihle Zikalala, met inside the building.

According to the protesters, who are aligned to former ANC chairperson and axed premier Senzo Mchunu, the interim committee chosen to lead the party to a new provincial election was biased and weighted in favour of Zikalala, a known supporter of President Jacob Zuma.

Zikalala was the provincial chaiperson before being suspended along with others on the leadership committee by the ANC’s national body. Despite the suspension, Zikalala was chosen to sit on the interim structure.

Speaking to the media after meeting with three of the protesters on Monday, Zikalala said it had already been agreed to meet with disgruntled members next week.

“The concern raised by the picketers was that it has taken time for KwaZulu-Natal going through difficulties, divisions and in that period the comrades are saying there are a number of things that have happened and therefore they don’t believe that the ANC will be able to go to a conference within the set time frame in a manner that will help unite,” said Zikalala.

Mabuyakhulu said the discussions with three of the picketers went “very well”.

“Our own position is that now that we are ready to discuss the process, it is a matter of us therefore meeting with them next week, taking them through that process. But we want to say to our members in general, our structures, we think that we want to approach this process with the greatest inclusiveness,” he said.

Mabuyakhulu was the MEC for economic development in Mchunu’s administration, a position that is now held by Zikalala.

The ANC’s national executive committee formed the interim leadership team after a 2017 KwaZulu-Natal high court judgement found that the 2015 provincial elective conference was illegal and thus the results null and void. A new conference has to take place within three months.

African News Agency/ANA