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Luthuli House ANC Head office in Johannesburg. Picture: BUSINESS DAY/FREDDY MAVUNDA
Luthuli House ANC Head office in Johannesburg. Picture: BUSINESS DAY/FREDDY MAVUNDA

The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal is confident that all its regions will meet the end of March deadline to hold regional elections. ANC provincial spokesperson Nhlakanipho Ntombela told Business Day that more than half of the regions in the province have already met.

“The ANC has 11 regions in KwaZulu-Natal and so far we have only six regions who have to submit their final lists. We are confident that the regions will meet the end of March deadline. Most of the branches are meeting next week for their regional conferences.

“We are on track to hold our provincial conference for a new leadership in July. The date will be set once all of our branches have met and held elections,” said Ntombela.

Responding to concerns by some ANC insiders about the effect that divisions, the disbanding of certain branches and the assassination of party leaders, including councillors, is having on the ANC, Ntombela said: “Issues affecting the party are being dealt with by the regions themselves, and the murders and killings are being handled by the police task team.”

In the first two months of this year 18 people have been murdered in three separate shooting incidents in KwaZulu-Natal, resulting in the region being labelled the worst offender when it comes to “mass” killings in the country.

Police minister Bheki Cele has been in the province three times since the first murders in January, joined by members of the task force of national ministers of the security cluster.

Cele said intrapolitical conflicts within the ANC, IFP and National Freedom Party (NFP) have resulted in the parties being most affected by political killings. Reports show that the ANC bears the brunt of the murders.

Since 2018, the SA Police Service task team launched to investigate politically related killings has investigated 258 dockets. A total of 289 arrests have been made on politically related cases with a 54% detection rate, 33% court rate and 83% conviction rate. Most of the new cases were reported before, during and after the 2021 local government elections.

Enrichment

Business, religious, traditional and community leaders as well as opposition political parties in KwaZulu-Natal believe that the implementation of the 2016 Moerane commission findings hold the key to ending the intraparty murders, the main cause of which appears to be linked to financial enrichment.

The commission chaired by advocate Marumo Moerane pointed to deep tension across political parties, a poor performance by the Crime Intelligence Unit and a spate of assassinations underpinning political advancement.

Political elections commentator Wayne Sussman said that for the ANC to make any inroads in 2024, unity and stability in KwaZulu-Natal is unconditional. It is the second most populated province in the country and the biggest ANC region, he said.

“Former president Jacob Zuma’s gift to the ANC, and which led to KwaZulu-Natal becoming a dominant player in the party, was his ability to turn out the voters, who in turn marked their cross for the ANC. This is why the ANC did so well in 2009.

“Stability and unity is critical now more than ever for the ruling party in KwaZulu-Natal to overcome adversity and deal with all challenges. Members have to be on the same page so the party does not have a repeat of 2021 in 2024 and risk losing its majority support to opposition parties like the IFP and others,” he said.

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