Zikalala Slams Bheki Cele

Siboniso Mawandla | The Republic Mail

By Mbali Sibiya

KwaZulu-Natal ANC chairperson Mr Sihle Zikalala, has taken a swipe at senior ANC member Mr Bheki Cele.

Mr Cele said this week he was embarrassed to be a national executive committee (NEC) member of the party because the party’s president, Mr Jacob Zuma had failed to unite the party or deal with corruption.

Mr Cele also slammed the president for campaigning for former African Union chairwoman Ms Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, as the next party president.

Mr Zikalala said there was nothing wrong with this as the ANC was not “a royal dynasty”.

“If comrade Bheki Cele tells us that Nkosazana was not with the party, we want to tell him today, she was there as an ANC member, she never left, she stayed in the ANC,” said Mr Zikalala.

The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal was in court again on Thursday trying to resolve a bitter leadership spat.

The case deals with the party’s 2015 provincial conference, at which Mr Senzo Mchunu was ousted as provincial chairperson.

A group of ANC members are challenging the election of the party’s provincial executive committee. Mr Mchunu’s supporters believe the process was riddled with problems. But their rivals (Mr Zikalala’s supporters) believe it’s just sour grapes from a losing faction.

The applicants are asking the court to scrap the results, saying the early conference was unlawful since no branches called for it. They say a rerun of the election won’t undo the decisions of the current leadership.

A controversial tweet is also in the spotlight. The ANC’s official account allegedly posted results, indicating that Mr Mchunu was set to lose his position as chairperson in the province.

That tweet was apparently posted while members were still voting.

But lawyers for the provincial leaders hit back, saying the complainants waited months before launching their objection.

The leadership is concerned that their decisions could be undone if the conference is ruled invalid. Outside court, supporters of both factions were chanting, singing and waving placards.

The case resumes on Thursday for day two of proceedings.