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‘Not appearing on any slate is a blessing,’ says ANC secretary-general hopeful Mdumiseni Ntuli

‘Not appearing on any slate is a blessing,’ says ANC secretary-general hopeful Mdumiseni Ntuli
Mdumiseni Ntuli is hoping to be given an opportunity to change the ANC. (Photo: Velani Ludidi)

Seen as a rare silver lining in the dark ANC cloud, Mdumiseni Ntuli is known for his good articulation of ANC programmes and is a former ANC KwaZulu-Natal provincial secretary.

Senior ANC member Mdumiseni Ntuli, a front-runner for the party’s secretary-general position, believes being excluded from President Cyril Ramaphosa’s slate is a blessing in disguise.

The widely shared slate includes Senzo Mchunu as deputy president and Fikile Mbalula as secretary-general. Also ditched is ANC Eastern Cape chairperson Oscar Mabuyane, who hopes to be the deputy president.

Ntuli was the main speaker at the Oliver Tambo Memorial Lecture held in Harare, Khayelitsha on Sunday, 30 October, where he received formal endorsement from several branches for the secretary-general position ahead of the party’s national elective conference in December. 

Seen as a rare silver lining in the dark ANC cloud, Ntuli is known for his good articulation of ANC programmes and is a former ANC KwaZulu-Natal provincial secretary. In August, he failed in his bid to be re-elected to the position, losing to Kokstad Mayor Bhekinkosi Mtolo. 

Also present at the lecture was ANC Western Cape convener Lerumo Kalako, former Dullah Omar Regional chairperson Xolani Sotashe and provincial legislature member Andile Lili. 

Ntuli said: “Not to appear on anybody’s slate is an advantage. You might have noticed that throughout the country my name is nominated; that is a serious advantage because we are most likely to have a secretary-general who is not beholden to any faction … elected on the basis of suitability of the candidate.” 

He said he was against slates as they deny the party the chance to select leaders from the best it has. 

“Once you are locked into a particular slate, you are no longer able to exercise flexibility to look at comrades that may not necessarily be in your slate but who are capable to discharge the responsibilities given to them.” 

The Dullah Omar Region, which has the potential to send 116 delegates to the national elective conference if all the branches qualify, currently only has 52 who qualify, according to a report seen by Daily Maverick. This was confirmed by Ward 86 chairperson Xolani Diniso. 

ANC Western Cape spokesperson Sifiso Mtsweni confirmed that the province stands to have 281 delegates at the conference — the highest number for the province since the dawn of democracy in SA. 

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ANC member Nosibusiso Mbala said if the party wants to return to its glory days, it must elect Ntuli because: “He has a proven track record and is the only one who can tell what his plans are when he gets into that office. Others are contesting because they are popular and close to the President but they have nothing solid to offer to the organisation.” 

Talking about his plan to turn the party around, Ntuli believes the ANC must have two secretaries-general so that one can be in the Cabinet while the other focuses on party programmes. 

Since losing the Western Cape in 2009, the ANC has struggled to unseat the DA there. Making it more difficult now is the increasing number of smaller parties gaining ground in the province. The ANC is governing some municipalities through coalitions. 

“The headquarters of the ANC has dropped the ball,” Ntuli said. “The headquarters should invest in this province by bringing people and resources to campaign. 

“Parliament is in Cape Town and ANC ministers are here every month, yet they never set foot in communities. There are no programmes and those must be initiated from the head office. It seems that comrades have accepted defeat in this province so much that they are not trying any more. The DA is too relaxed now, to a point that they go to other provinces.”

Ward 96 councillor and branch chairperson Anele Dambuza said the whole of the Dullah Omar Region believes in Ntuli.

“We will not go [to the elective conference] and be bought to change our stance,” he said. “We want comrade Ntuli for the position of secretary-general and President Ramaphosa must get a second term to carry on the good work he is doing in renewing the organisation.”

The region is yet to hold its elective conference as it has not met the required threshold. Delegates for the national conference are selected through branch meetings.

As Daily Maverick reported, the ANC’s conference is less than two months away, but the party has not yet managed to complete nominations for it. The initial closing date for all branches to have nominated their preferred candidates was 25 October, but this had to be changed to 7 November. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Dennis Bailey says:

    “the whole of the Dullah Omar Region believes in Ntuli.” – As if. If Ntuli’s supporters lie like this to get him elected, what hope if elected? Another season of no change and deeper sh1t at Luthuli house is all.

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