Jacob Zuma. Picture: SUPPLIED
Jacob Zuma. Picture: SUPPLIED

The ANC’s Musa Dladla region will investigate rumours that some of its previous leaders are using former president Jacob Zuma to sow confusion and defy the newly elected leadership.

Two months ago the region, which incorporates Nkandla (where Zuma’s homestead is located), Empangeni, Eshowe, Mthonjaneni, Richards Bay and other areas, elected a "unity leadership" headed by regional chairman Mduduzi Mhlongo, the mayor of uMhlathuze Municipality, with Thembeka Mchunu, the wife of former KwaZulu-Natal premier Senzo Mchunu, as deputy and Tholi Gwala as regional secretary.

However, the unannounced appearance of Zuma at regional events, in the presence of former leaders who contested and lost the election, had reportedly stirred a hornet’s nest.

On Thursday, a member of the new regional executive committee told Business Day on condition of anonymity that Zuma was being used by certain leaders to sow division.

Bitter faction

"It is clear that these people are still bitter about losing the conference. I am not sure whether Zuma is aware that he is being used to undermine democratically elected leadership. If he is not, there must be a way to make him aware, because what these people are doing is unacceptable," the person said.

Gwala said the matter would be addressed.

"We agreed that this matter must be investigated. We don’t know where these rumours that Zuma was causing divisions come from," Gwala said.

He said that the recent conference had mandated the region to engage with other parts of the province to seek solutions to the divisions besetting the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal.

"One of the solutions is to seek unity leadership, which will comprise both camps so that the ANC can move forward," he said. "We are engaging other regions and many of them are coming to our way of thinking because we all realise that the ANC cannot go on tearing itself apart."

Zuma and his representative, Vukile Mathabela, were unavailable for comment last week.