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Zweli Mkhize for president, says ANC in KZN as it snubs Ramaphosa and Dlamini Zuma

Zweli Mkhize for president, says ANC in KZN as it snubs Ramaphosa and Dlamini Zuma
ANC NEC Member Zweli Mkhize at the KZN provincial elective conference at Olive convention center Durban 23 July 2022, Photo; Phumlani Thabethe

The ANZ in KwaZulu-Natal has shown its hand for the party’s December elective conference – Zweli Mkhize for ANC president and Paul Mashatile for deputy.

Following deep reflection on problems the ruling party has grappled with since the 2017 elective conference, the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal says it has opted to endorse former health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize for the party’s top job.       

At a media briefing on Tuesday, the province announced a mixed bag of names which it would endorse at the December elective conference, saying it was open to persuasion in electing leaders who are not only “best for the ANC but also the country”. 

Mkhize’s endorsement is despite the Digital Vibes scandal hanging over his head, in which his former personal assistant benefited from a R150-million contract with the Health Department, as did his family.

Read more in Daily Maverick: “Exposed: Digital Vibes bought a Land Cruiser bakkie for Health Minister Zweli Mkhize’s son 

Mkhize is currently challenging the Special Investigating Unit to reveal the information it has about his role in the scandal. 

Quizzed about this, provincial secretary Bheki Mtolo said Mkhize remained an eligible candidate.  

“There are guidelines that tell us who are the people that branches of the ANC can nominate and people they can’t nominate. Dr Zweli Mkhize is among the members of the ANC that qualifies, he is not charged by an institution of law, nor is he being investigated. I think the Hawks have made it clear that he’s not under investigation,” said Mtolo.   

Even before the Digital Vibes scandal there is strong evidence that Mkhize was involved in other transactions. Scorpio’s Pieter-Louis Myburgh exposed how money from a PIC deal ended up paying for Mkhize’s townhouse

It remains unclear whether Mkhize will be allowed to contest for the leadership in December. If he is criminally charged before the conference, he may not be eligible. 

The province, which is the largest voting bloc, said it decided to endorse Mkhize for president following an overwhelming view from the party’s 11 branches in the province.

For the deputy president position, it has officially endorsed ANC treasurer-general and acting secretary-general Paul Mashatile.   

For the national chairperson position, Mtolo said branches were in support of Stanley Mathabatha, who has been Limpopo chairperson for a while. This is the position former president Jacob Zuma said on Monday night he would be available to serve in, should he be nominated by branches. 

Read more in Daily Maverick: “Everybody wants to rule the world: Zweli Mkhize’s ‘the more, the merrier’ belies the future ANC reality

The province has also endorsed former Eastern Cape premier Phumulo Masualle for the position of secretary-general. He has served in various capacities in the province. 

Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations

“They also believe that comrade Nomvula Mokonyane, also known as Mama Action, can best serve the ANC in the capacity as deputy secretary-general.”  

The province has not endorsed anyone for the job of treasurer-general, a position seen as a lifeline in the running of the party. It has indicated that a young, energetic and female leader should be nominated  

Mtolo said that although they had adopted to endorse these leaders, the province was open to persuasion by other provinces. They would approach the formal talks with an open mind, taking into consideration what is best for the ANC and the country. 

“These positions are not cast in stone, we are not fixated, neither are we stubborn – we are open to persuasion by various provinces of the ANC, because we fully understand that this is a national conference.”  

If Mkhize is allowed to contest, he is expected to go up against party president Cyril Ramaphosa, who is eyeing a second term, and Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, who so far has been endorsed by her own branch and former president Zuma.

An ‘unfair’ question  

Mtolo would not go into details of the reasons for not endorsing Ramaphosa, suggesting that it was unfair of reporters to pose questions about support of an individual when the party has many members.  

Asked if the Phala Phala theft was one of the reasons, Mtolo declined to comment, describing the matter as a national issue which he would not address on a public platform. 

Commenting on Dlamini Zuma’s endorsement by her own branch, the provincial leadership said there was nothing untoward about it and they would not stop branches with opposing views from nominating their own candidates:  

“There is an overwhelming view of the province; it doesn’t mean there can’t be one or two branches that are of a different view. There can be 10% of the branches that want another person, you can’t stop them.

“But the one thing we have been taught in the ANC, is that you suppress your individual view once a collective view is made.” DM



Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Sydney Kaye says:

    What’s the surprise. Since they are thieves they want a thief as President

  • Miles Japhet says:

    Has the man no shame with the PPE and other charges that will eventually stick?!!

    • Kanu Sukha says:

      “EVENTUALLY” ! …. is that after he wears the crown (not of thorns!) ? What a gutless (and pathetic) prosecution system we have ! Everything imitates SOEs !

  • jeyezed says:

    Chipping away at democracy, one flawed nomination at a time.

  • Johan Buys says:

    Ha! The doctor will soon be the 1027th KZN politician arguing for bail application. It blows my mind that the branches support people that stole health funds from them. I have no fear of being sued – the basis is all over thanks to DM and investigative journalists. Thank you, again

  • Cunningham Ngcukana says:

    I think the kind of journalism that says Ramaphosa is a saint despite the Phala Phala scandal and others to come, is very wrong , because when he was nominated by Limpopo faction and the Eastern Cape faction the Phalaphala scandal was not raised. But, when other Provinces nominate a different person his or her scandals are raised like Zweli Mkhize who has not been charged and Cyril like Zweli Mkhize may be charged for abuse of power and office and various crimes emanating from his failure to report a crime and taking the law into his hands. You have in the Eastern Cape a large faction supporting Paul Mashatile but no divisions are seen there and in Gauteng, you have the Nkandla defender Mamoloko Kubayi being nominated by her branch but no divisions are seen there. She even took her fight to the NEC against Mashatile! You have Msibi from a very strong region in Pienaar calling for DD Mabuza to be retained and in fact calling for what KZN has done to allow branches to speak not the PEC and there are no divisions there. You deny political analysts proper information to make an analysis. I was listening to the worst rubbish of political analysis by Lukhona Mnguni on eNCA who totally ignores the fact that the ANC Conference has highly divided Provinces. The fool does not even look at a possibility of Paul Mashatile as a compromise Presidential candidate! KZN is doing what Adrian Leftwich says there are rules of the game and games within the rules. He must read his papers.

  • Joe Soap says:

    Only the ANC would put someone charged with corruption forward. Suppose it does mean he is not only skilful in theft but has a proven track record. The only downside is that if he is elected president, the step aside rule will prevent him from taking up the position. Only in the ANC’s dark, water-free, decaying, destroyed South Africa could this happen.

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