Sihle Zikalala. Picture: RAJESH JANTILAL
Sihle Zikalala. Picture: RAJESH JANTILAL

A court challenge seeking to oust the KwaZulu-Natal leadership of the ANC brought by a cohort of "rebels" has merely galvanised the leadership of the party. This was according to ANC provincial chairperson Sihle Zikalala‚ who dismissed any notion of divisions within the ANC.

The court ruling by Judge Jerome Mnguni last week followed a challenge by a faction supporting ousted chairperson and former KwaZulu-Natal premier Senzo Mchunu‚ who lost to Zikalala in a bitter battle.

The so-called rebels went to court in July last year to ask for a re-run‚ citing various irregularities.

Speaking at a business breakfast in Durban on Tuesday‚ Zikalala said he had told ratings agency Moody’s that the court challenge had spurred party leaders to speak the same language. "All the leaders of the ANC are now beginning to talk one language‚ and that is a language of unity‚ irrespective of their preference on leadership."

This is contrary to remarks made by Vryheid ANC councillor Lawrence Dube this week‚ who vowed to displace the "illegitimate" leadership in the province. Dube led the application‚ which also involved four other ANC members representing 43 branches.

Zikalala said that during his meeting‚ agency representatives had been anxious about the court challenge. "They wanted to know about the court judgment from Pietermaritzburg and its implications for the ANC‚" he said. "I told them that the court case was about ANC internal matters and the ANC is dealing with those issues. The ANC is an old organisation and it will deal with these matters with maturity."

The landmark legal bid to nullify the provincial executive committee (PEC) has exposed cracks in the party. In the wake of the judgment‚ the PEC seemed at odds with the mother body on whether it would appeal the ruling.

Former KwaZulu-Natal premier Zweli Mkhize said the provincial body had to submit to the national executive committee‚ but the ANC Youth League in the province told the national leadership to back off. The league was later admonished for their defiance.

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