PIETERMARITZBURG - The elective conference of the African National Congress (ANC) Moses Mabhida Region in KwaZulu-Natal which was set for this weekend has been postponed. 

This was confirmed by Provincial Interim Committee member Super Zuma, and comes in the wake of tensions between rival factions in the region. 

The tensions were laid bare on Monday this week when members of the pro-Cyril Ramaphosa group in the ANC tried to force their way into a consultative meeting in Howick, only to be stopped by bodyguards. 

The video of the incident went viral, prompting Provincial Interim Committee coordinator to condemn the conduct of the bodyguards.

Ramaphosa supporters accuse the regional leadership of masterminding the sidelining of other members in order to get a result that favours them at the conference. 

"After careful consideration we have decided that the conference should not take place this weekend as initially planned so that everything relating to organisation activity can be addressed," said Zuma on Wednesday. He cited Monday's incident as one of the reasons behind the postponement.

Recently, aggrieved ruling party members marched to the regional office three times in two weeks, calling for the resignation of the regional leadership, especially Chairperson Mthandeni Dlungwane and Secretary Mzi Zuma. They accused the pair of turning a blind eye to corruption in municipalities within the region, including Msunduzi municipality which remains in financial difficulty. 

In addition to this, they claim that there is a plan to purge  those who do not support former party and State president Jacob Zuma. 

Leader of the pro-Ramaphosa grouping, Mtuza Mkhize said only the disbanding of the regional leadership can guarantee an incident-free conference. "We cannot have individuals at the helm of the organisation who have a sole intention of looting municipal coffers for their own gain. What we want is an interim structure that will oversee branch meetings and ensure that the entire process is legitimate. The regional leadership is conflicted," said Mkhize. 

The region which is made up of Pietermaritzburg and surrounding areas is the third largest in KwaZulu-Natal after eThekwini (Durban) and Musa Dladla (Richards Bay). It has in recent months seen a number of politically-related killings where city officials and councillors have been targeted.   

African News Agency/ANA