Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has reportedly angered the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal after he deviated from its campaign programme for a by-election in Nquthu to deliver the Chris Hani memorial lecture in Newcastle to party “rebels”.
TimesLIVE reported on Saturday that the lecture was organised by the South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO) – an allience partner of the ANC.
Ramaphosahe is said to have stunned some members of the ANC provincial executive committee (PEC) when he flew to the eMalahleni region some 200km away to address party dissidents who included former KZN chairperson Senzo Mchunu and former MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu.
Mdumiseni Ntuli, the ANC’s provincial spokesperson and PEC member said they were disappointed with Ramaphosa.
“It was clearly a gathering of the faction. We did not know about the event and the ANC was never invited‚” Ntuli was quoted as saying.
He said they would not raise the matter with Ramaphosa but would take it up with SANCO.
Meanwhile, SANCO’s provincial secretary Richard Mkhungo‚ according to the report, said his members had the right to invite anyone to address them.
“They are not a faction. Until such time that we take an opinion on which candidate we feel should lead the ANC‚ we will invite all officials‚” he said.
In response to the criticism surrounding the KZN ANC’ s unhappiness, Ramaphosa said the matter had not been brought to his attention.
“No it hasn’t been brought to my attention. I was [there] talking about the ANC and how the ANC needs to rebuild…that is the task for all of us to undertake‚” he said.
The ANC in KZN went to the last two national conferences of the ruling party – Polokwane in 2007 and Mangaung in 2012 – as a single voting block but cracks are beginning to show in the province.
Mchunu and Mabuyakhulu are seen as being among the party’s provincial figures opposed to President Jacob Zuma and his preferred successor Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
Those backing Mchunu are said to be supporting a pro-Ramaphosa slate while the other grouping backs Dlamini-Zuma.