The man accused of stirring up hundreds of supporters of former KwaZulu-Natal premier Senzo Mchunu after the outcome of the ANC’s provincial conference last year appears to have changed allegiance.
Introducing its candidate councillors at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban on Sunday, the ANC named Mishack Sithenjwa Nyawose as having won his re-election bid as candidate councillor for ward 79 in Umlazi.
Nyawose was sidelined by the provincial ANC after leading the charge for investigations into the outcome of the ANC’s provincial conference where Senzo Mchunu lost his re-election bid as ANC provincial chairman to Sihle Zikalala in November. He was described as an “anarchist” and “rabble-rouser” at the time by the party’s provincial leadership.
Nyawose told ANA that he put any ill feelings he once harboured towards his ANC peers behind him and was now “working to bring unity to the ANC because it is under siege”.
It was also Nyawose, who said he was acting on behalf of “various branch and ward members” in the eThekwini region, who filed an application for an urgent interdict to halt the regional conference 90 minutes before it was set to start on December 12.
The application was dismissed with costs and councillor Zandile Gumede went on to win her nomination as eThekwini chairperson from then chairperson and current mayor James Nxumalo.
eThekwini enjoys the ANC’s largest support base nationwide, with membership standing at 44 308, according to the party’s “programmes and credentials report” presented at the provincial conference in November last year.
Gumede was last week named as ANC mayoral candidate for the eThekwini metro, which this year posted a record budget of R41.6 billion.
She said she harboured “no ill feelings” towards Nyawose and never did. She said Nyawose’s re-election as the candidate for ward 79 was done democratically.
“Nyawose was elected by his own people in his own ward. This has nothing to do with my feelings. If his ward wants him as councillor, that is how the democratic process works. It was Mr Nyawose’s right to say that he did not want me to lead the region; that is allowed in a democracy,” she said.
Gumede said Nyawose had worked with her on the emergency services committee of which she was chairperson. “I never had any qualms with him then and still don’t. As a leader, I need to rise above this and lead everyone with uniformity,” she said.
Nyawose refused to discuss the outcome of his March ANC disciplinary hearing where he was accused of causing division within the party, but ANA understands that an “amicable solution” was reached between the councillor and the ANC’s provincial leadership.
The ANC has faced a wave of criticism provincially and nationally over the way its nominees were chosen as mayoral and councillor candidates. Allegations have been made of “factional alignments” in the nomination process.
This unhappiness has been linked to several violent protests throughout the country, including last week’s unrest in Tshwane where vehicles were torched, shops looted, and five people were killed after Thoko Didiza, a former public works minister, was announced as the ANC mayoral candidate for the metro.
– African News Agency (ANA)