DURBAN, January 24 – Supposedly outgoing African National Congress (ANC) KwaZulu-Natal chairman, Sihle Zikalala, and Mike Mabuyakhulu, have on Tuesday, been named as the leaders of the 16-member interim leadership structure in the province.
Speaking at the south beach-based Coastland Hotel on Tuesday afternoon, newly-appointed ANC secretary general, Ace Magashule, said that Zikalala would occupy the position of coordinator.
On Saturday, the newly elected National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ruling party announced that it had decided to suspend the Provincial Executive Committees (PEC) in KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State.
Both provinces have been embroiled in high court battles that declared their provincial conferences and any resolutions taken there unlawful and void. Both provinces now have to run new conferences to elect new leadership in order to “build unity” within the fractured provinces.
The interim team is mandated to ready party structures for those new conferences, which have to take place within three months.
Magashule was joined by ANC North West provincial secretary and newly elected national working committee member, Dakota Legoete, who had been deployed to the province to assist with setting up the interim team.
Mabuyakhulu, the former economic development MEC, would be the convener of the interim team. Zikalala currently holds the MEC position after Mabuyakhulu was fired in a move generally seen as a purge to oust any supporters of former KZN ANC chairman and premier, Senzo Mchunu following his ouster at the contentious 2015 conference.
Factional divides have deepened in KZN since that conference. Zikalala supported Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in her bid as ANC president at the national conference held in December last month, while Mchunu and Mabuyakhulu lobbied for newly elected ANC president and South Africa’s Deputy PresidentCyril Ramaphosa.
“The KwaZulu-Natal PEC has appealed against the judgment to declare unlawful and invalid the Provincial Elective Conference held in November 2015 and the execution order to set aside the PEC. The effect of the appeal is that the execution order is suspended and the PEC remains in place until the appeal is finalized,” Magashule said.
“Notwithstanding the current legal status, the officials recommended that, in principle, members should refrain from taking internal disputes of the ANC to court.”
NEC members Edna Molewa (convener), Lindiwe Sisulu, Candith Mashego, Lekgoete and Sibongile Besani were tasked with overseeing the interim team, said Magashule.
Speaking after the announcement, Zikalala appealed for calm and acceptance of the decision by the party’s highest decision-making structure.
“We are all members of the ANC. Once the higher structures have taken a decision, we have to accept and live with that decision. And therefore I believe that as the membership of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal, we will accept the responsibility that we must coordinate and lead the process towards the conference,” Zikalala said.
The ANC KZN interim team are: Mike Mabuyakhulu (convenor), Sihle Zikalala (co-ordinator), Willies Mchunu, Peggy Nkonyeni, Maggie Govender, Super Zuma, Mluleki Ndobe, Cyril Xaba, Nomusa Dube, Nhlakanipho Ntombela, Bheki Mtolo, Mxolisi Kaunda, Mdumiseni Ntuli, Gugu Simelane-Zulu, Bongi Moloi and Makhosi Ntuli.
– African News Agency (ANA),