ANC in KZN takes swipe at Bheki Cele

Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Deputy Minister Bheki Cele speaks during the Food safety systems for export workshop. (Photo: AGRIC)

Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Deputy Minister Bheki Cele speaks during the Food safety systems for export workshop. (Photo: AGRIC)

The provincial leadership says it cannot wait for the opportunity to nominate its candidate for party president.

KwaZulu-Natal African National Congress branches are eagerly awaiting the start of the nomination process on who should lead the party when President Jacob Zuma’s term ends in December, says ANC provincial secretary Super Zuma.

Super Zuma was also critical of those who have spoken out against Zuma’s leadership, including Bheki Cele, who had de facto endorsed Cyril Ramaphosa as the next ANC president by saying a deputy president should follow a president into power, according to ANC tradition.

“As KZN branches we want to make it clear that we are ready to start discussing the names of an individual who should be our next leader,” he said at a Nelson Mandela lecture presented by presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in Pietermaritzburg on Friday night.

“Despite the temptation, we are abiding by the rules as set out by the NEC [national executive committee] that we should not start discussing candidates,” he said.

He also expressed reservations about comments and stances taken by some ANC members in parliament.

“We need to be extremely careful as to who we deploy in public office in future because the conduct of some people illustrates that perhaps we were not as thorough.”

This was a veiled reference to ANC MP Makhosi Khoza, who has called for for Zuma’s ousting as head of state. He also took a swipe at NEC member Cele who had criticised the ANC leadership recently when addressing gatherings in uMlazi township and Port Shepstone.

“We have comrades that were deployed to national structures who are never around when we are campaigning during by-elections, but now they are busy addressing people without our knowledge; such conduct is untoward,” Zuma said.

Cele recently told party members that the NEC had failed to provide leadership on many fronts, adding that the problems in KwaZulu-Natal which had seen some party members taking the provincial leadership to the high court were testimony to this.

Earlier, Moses Mabhida region chairperson Mthandeni Dlungwane expressed concerns over comments made by some leading ANC figures, saying some of them were sowing division.

“Comrades, it is important to remember the teaching of Oliver Tambo who said we must constantly be on the lookout for the enemy. It is possible that in our revolution the people that we least expert to be sellouts are actually doing that. We need to be constantly alert,” said Dlungwane.

He said the ANC was ready to elect a woman as party president, an indication that the region supported Dlamini-Zuma. The ANC nomination process is set to open on September 1.

Aside from Dlamini-Zuma, Friday’s gathering was attended by local chiefs, mayors, and the rank and file in the Moses Mabhida region, which is made up of Pietermaritzburg and surrounding areas.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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