The ANC leadership appears to have condoned‚ for now‚ its KwaZulu-Natal provincial executive committee’s resolve to fight on to stay in office.
ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa instead preached unity and publicly called on provincial chair Sihle Zikalala and former chair Senzo Mchunu to lead the unity project when he visited the province on Sunday and Monday.
The top six officials are yet to hold a formal political meeting with the KwaZulu-Natal PEC with the delicate issue of disbandment still hanging over their heads following court action by a group of so-called rebels who legally challenged the party’s 2015 conference last year.
Ramaphosa‚ the top six officials‚ and several other national executive committee members were in KwaZulu-Natal‚ participating in a number of pre-January 8 statement events being held from Sunday to Monday.
The traditional January 8 statement — which this year marks the ANC’s 106th anniversary — will be delivered in East London on Saturday.
Ramaphosa delivered two short lectures as well as paid homage to and laid wreaths at the gravesites of former ANC presidents John Langalibalele Dube‚ Dr Pixley kaSeme — both in Inanda — and Chief Albert Luthuli in Groutville‚ kwaDukuza‚ on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast.
However‚ talks between the warring KwaZulu-Natal ANC provincial executive committee and the so-called “rebels” are set to resume to finalise unity initiatives in a province that almost lost its influence in last month’s national elective conference.
“We have had informal talks and we have decided that the three-a-side talks should resume‚” said provincial ANC secretary Super Zuma.
While the ANC top six officials did not hold a formal meeting with the KwaZulu-Natal ANC provincial executive committee‚ both parties have nonetheless agreed that‚ moving forward‚ unity in the province will be a key driver in the revival of the ruling party’s fortunes.
Speaking to TimesLIVE on Tuesday‚ Zuma said when all the parties met in Nongoma on Sunday when the ANC president paid homage to Zulu monarch King Goodwill Zwelithini‚ the issue did come up.
“The issue of us communicating is key. We need to prioritise unity. The circumstances are more favourable now that the conference is over‚” he said.
He said former provincial treasurer Mike Mabuyakhulu and current ANC provincial deputy chair Willies Mchunu have met to resume talks.
Zuma would not say if they will be meeting the top six for guidance in forging unity and discussing litigations that plunged the province into chaos for almost the entire 2017.
“They just asked us to help with the programme of visiting the gravesites of former leaders and to get in touch with their families which we did‚” he said.
On two court judgments made on the eve of the national elective conference last month‚ Zuma said they have appealed to the Supreme Court of Appeals.
“We first appealed the September judgment which rendered the 2015 conference invalid and we lost the appeal hence we moved to the SCA. The second judgment pertained to the execution order which was to compel us to vacate office. The court ruled in their favour and we had to leave office‚ but we also lodged an appeal with the SCA on that one as well‚” he said.