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Newly elected ANC KwaZulu-Natal chair Siboniso Duma is congratulated by former chair Sihle Zikalala. Picture: SANDILE NDLOVU
Newly elected ANC KwaZulu-Natal chair Siboniso Duma is congratulated by former chair Sihle Zikalala. Picture: SANDILE NDLOVU

President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was billed to attend the closing of the ninth provincial elective conference in KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday, will not attend the function.

This was confirmed by former spokesperson Nhlakanipho Ntombela. 

Speaking to Newzroom Afrika‚ newly elected chair Siboniso Duma also confirmed that Ramaphosa will not be there, “due to other commitments”.

“We have just spoken to the president this morning and he has congratulated the collective but he already had other commitments for today. So he is not going to come and close.

“It is the tradition of the ANC to deploy a comrade from the NEC to open the conference and the TG [treasurer-general Paul Mashatile] has done so. The new chair is going to close the conference and set the tone for what what’s going to happen next.”

Duma said this was not an indication that Ramaphosa was snubbing the conference as he did not close the recently held Gauteng conference.

Acting ANC secretary-general Paul Mashatile had confirmed that Ramaphosa would be attending the highly contested conference amid fears of how he would be received in former president Jacob Zuma’s stronghold.

On Friday evening‚ delegates demanding in song to know: “Wenzeni uZuma?” (what has Zuma done?), in effect they were expressing their dissatisfaction over Zuma’s incarceration for defying a court order to attend an inquiry into corruption during his presidency. 

Mashatile and former provincial chair Sihle Zikalala said delegates were allowed to express their feelings freely.

There were two dominating factions in the conference‚ mainly the so-called Talibans and “Ankoles”.

The Talibans are said to be linked to disgraced politician Zweli Mkhize‚ while the Ankoles are a faction supporting Ramaphosa.

Nomagugu Simelani is the only woman to be elected to the top five as deputy chair‚ while Bheki Mtolo is the secretary and Sipho Hlomuka is his deputy.

Emalahleni region’s Dr Ntuthuko Mahlaba is the provincial treasurer.

Ambitious local businessman Sandile Zungu “duly declined” a nomination‚ while former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede said she would “abide by the step-aside resolution”.

Nomusa Dube-Ncube‚ who was nominated from the floor‚ failed to meet the threshold.

Additional members of the provincial executive committee are expected to be nominated and elected later on Sunday.

TimesLIVE

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