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Jacob Zuma expelled as KZN Sanco chair over repeated absenteeism

Jacob Zuma expelled as KZN Sanco chair over repeated absenteeism
Former President Jacob Zuma addresses supporters of the uMkhonto Wesizwe (MK) party on 7 February 2024. (Photo: Gallo Images / City Press / Tebogo Letsie)

Umbrella civic organisation Sanco has moved to expel its chairperson Jacob Zuma, following his failure to attend meetings in KwaZulu-Natal since his election into office.

The South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) has expelled its chairperson and former president Jacob Zuma, the organisation announced on Friday afternoon. 

The Provincial Conference of Sanco KZN, which took place on 19 November 2023, elected Zuma in absentia to be the provincial chairperson of Sanco KZN, among other leaders.

Sanco Provincial Secretary Sizwe Cele said that ever since Zuma was elected into office, he had not attended a single meeting of Sanco. 

Sanco’s constitution clause 35 (c), which deals with the meetings of the provincial office bearers, states that if a provincial office bearer fails to attend a committee meeting, they must provide a written apology or explanation to the office of the provincial secretary before the meeting. If they fail to do so, it will be considered misconduct. 

“Should a member fail to attend three (3) consecutive committee meetings without sound reasons, such a member shall be deemed to have absconded and will be notified in writing within 7 days of non-attendance of the past meeting”, reads the clause. “The member should be replaced in the next PEC (or special PEC) meeting,” the clause further states. 

“Cde Zuma has violated the above clause of the constitution; this is to say, he has not attended the last three provincial office bearers meetings, and he has not submitted any written or even verbal apology for that matter to the Provincial Secretary,” said Cele, explaining the expulsion. 

Considered ‘misconduct’

“The PEC of KZN was therefore left with no other option but to consider Cde Zuma’s behaviour as misconduct, and such misconduct is classified as abscondment from the office, consequently the PEC resolved to remove him from the office of the provincial chairperson of Sanco KZN with immediate effect.”

Deputy provincial chairperson Lawrence Dube was appointed as the acting provincial chairperson with immediate effect. 

The PEC also resolved to plan immediately for an uncontested Provincial General Council, where Dube will be elected and confirmed as the provincial chairperson of Sanco KZN. Jabu Msiya, who is from Harry Gwala Region, will be appointed as his deputy. 

“These are both seasoned leaders of Sanco and the revolutionary Alliance, they have a long track record of working tirelessly and selflessly for the people of KZN and South Africa. We express our full confidence in them,” said Cele. 

Jacob Zuma

Jacob Zuma addresses the All African Alliance Movement members at White City Community Hall on 5 January 2024 in Soweto. (Photo: Gallo Images / Fani Mahuntsi)

Zuma crisscrossing and campaigning

Zuma has been mostly crisscrossing the province of KZN and Gauteng, campaigning for the newly formed Umkhonto Wesizwe party (MK). The former president has campaigned for MK while claiming he would remain an ANC member.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Zuma’s MK party makes strong debut in KZN – IFP retains Vryheid ward, but ANC gains

Zuma was elected to lead Sanco before he endorsed his MK party. Sanco is in alliance with and campaigns for the ANC. Cele, after Zuma said he would not be campaigning for the ANC, said the Sanco constitution allows anyone to join Sanco regardless of political affiliation, so Sanco can’t charge its provincial chair for joining the MK party. 

The ANC suspended Zuma last month after long deliberations on what to do with him, as he ditched the party for MK. 

In a recent by-election in KZN, MK took votes from both the ANC and IFP, and while it did not secure a ward, its performance shows that MK will be a fierce contender in the upcoming national elections. 

Read more in Daily Maverick: Zuma’s MK party snatches votes from ANC, IFP in fierce Zululand contest as it gives big parties another huge fright

An MK spokesperson, in an interview with Daily Maverick last month, said the party was not just targeting votes in Gauteng and KZN, but also in other provinces including Mpumalanga, Limpopo and Western Cape. 

Attempts to get a comment from Zuma about his expulsion from Sanco were unsuccessful. DM


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