Clive Ndou
Politics editor
2 minute read
24 Jul 2022
07:04

KZN ANC Conference | Zikalala ousted and Duma is the new chair

Clive Ndou

Siboniso Duma takes the crown as the newly elected KZN ANC provincial chairperson.

ANC KZN conference delegates congratulate new party provincial chairperson, Siboniso Duma.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Sihle Zikalala, was on Saturday evening ousted from his ANC provincial chairperson position during an elective conference which saw all his allies in the ANC KZN top five leadership structure voted out.

Zikalala, who for now will keep his premier position, was defeated by senior ANC member of the KZN Legislature, Siboniso Duma, who is the chair of chairs.

A former ANC Youth League (ANCYL) provincial deputy chairperson, Duma was voted in along with four other leaders who are part of the ANC provincial grouping calling itself the Taliban.

Health MEC, Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, who defeated Education MEC, Kwazi Mshengu, was elected as ANC deputy provincial chairperson.

Mdumiseni Ntuli, who was the provincial secretary at the start of the conference, which kicked at Durban’s Olive Convention CentRE on Friday, also failed to retain his position after Kokstad mayor, Bheki Mtolo, garnered more votes than him.

Cooperative Governace and Traditiinal Affairs (Cogta) MEC, Sipho Hlomuka, who during the build up to the conference aligned himself with the Taliban group, returned his position after defeating KZN Legislature speaker, Nontembeko Boyce.

Former Newcastle mayor, Ntuthuko Mahlaba, defeated human settlement MEC, Jomo Sibiya in the contest for the ANC provincial treasurer position.

The election of the new ANC provincial leadership come a few months after the party lost several KZN municipalities to the opposition during last year’s municipal elections.

Briefing the media shortly after his election, Duma said the new leadership would immediately initiate a programme to strengthen the ANC in the province.

“We will hit the ground running. We are going to build this province,” he said.

Asked whether the new leadership had plans to recall Zikalala, Duma said the priority was to unite the ANC in the province ahead of the 2024 general elections.

“If we want to win the 2024 elections, then we can’t do that (recall Zikalala).”

While it was still unclear whether the Taliban group, which now controls the ANC in KZN, is a pro-former president Jacob Zuma camp, the majority of ANC delegates who backed it during the party’s internal elections however made calls for the ANC to support Zuma in his legal troubles.

During the conference sessions the delegates sang songs indicating that they were not happy with the manner in which the ANC national leadership, which in amongst other things, recalled Zuma before the end of his term as the country’s president, was treating him.

However, ANC treasurer general, Paul Mashatile, who was part of yesterday’s media briefing, denied that the party’s national leadership was against Zuma.

“Let’s not open old wounds. Zuma enjoys the full support of the ANC national executive committee (NEC)” he said.

The conference, which is also scheduled to take a stance on the ANC’s contentious step aside policy, will on Sunday elect additional members of the provincial executive committee (PEC).

By late Saturday evening it was still not clear whether Presudent Cyril Ramaphosa, who usually delivers the closing address at ANC provincial conference, will be part of the Sunday session.