PIETERMARITZBURG: African National Congress (ANC) delegates for the Moses Mabhida region have spoken of frustration and disappointment at being unable to hold the conference in which they wanted to elect new leaders.
Delegates were told late Sunday afternoon that the scheduled three-day regional conference would not take place.
The message was delivered by a member of the Provincial Task Team Nhlakanipho Ntombela. He told the frustrated delegates that the party leadership had decided to delay the hosting of the regional conference until the finalization of the court case in July.
The case that Ntombela was referring to stems from the interdict that was obtained by disgruntled party members putting a stop to the elective provincial conference that was meant to have taken place at the University of Zululand from 8-10 June. The provincial gathering was converted into a consultative one.
However, the Moses Mabhida conference did not even start owing to uncertainty throughout the weekend.
While delegates accepted the leadership decision, members spoke of their unhappiness at spending three days at Harry Gwala Stadium- the conference venue – without doing any conference business.
“The feeling from many delegates is that we should have gone ahead with the conference, discuss issues and elect new leaders and go forward. Instead, we have allowed these disgruntled comrades to hold our movement hostage,” said one delegate.
Another delegate expressed worry that delaying the regional conference would impact on the provincial conference which is expected to be held within the next six weeks. “We wanted to establish who we will be lobbying for in the provincial structure, now if we do not have a regional leadership we cannot do that,” said the delegate.
The regional leadership, led by Mthandeni Dlungwane, was dissolved recently after its term ran out. The conference chaos is yet another chapter in the ongoing saga of the battle for power between factions in the ruling party.
Moses Mabhida region is the second largest region in KwaZulu-Natal after eThekwini and is made up of Pietermaritzburg and surrounding area such as Howick, Richmond and Wartburg and will be crucial in determining the outcome of the provincial leadership contest.