Sihle Zikalala has emerged victorious as chairperson of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal, ending a three-year stalemate in the province over the legitimacy of its leadership structure.
City Press reported ahead of last month’s failed attempt at a provincial conference that warring factions had found consensus around Zikalala, agreeing that he should be allowed to stand uncontested for the most powerful position in the province.
This after the faction aligned to former chairperson Senzo Mchunu – who was ousted by Zikalala at the 2015 conference which was nullified by the High Court last year – conceded that they did not have the numbers required for Mike Mabuyakhulu or former eThekwini mayor James Nxumalo to take on Zikalala.
MEC for COGTA in the province, Nomsa Dube-Ncube also left the conference venue triumphant in the early hours of this morning (Saturday) when she too was elected unopposed for the position of treasurer general.
Counting is now underway for the remaining three positions namely, deputy chairperson, general and deputy secretary.
For the position of deputy chairperson, Mabuyakhulu joins Willies Mchunu (premier in the province) in the ballot box.
Mchunu had emerged for the same position at the 2015 conference and has the backing of provincial heavyweights Super Zuma and eThekwini chairperson Zandile Gumede.
All eyes will be on the outcomes of the position of secretary which will see Mdumiseni Ntuli (backed by the Youth League) face off with Zuma.
Ntuli was elected on to the provincial executive committee of the 2015 conference, while Zuma was elected to the position of secretary at the same conference.
Ntuli’s name was raised from the floor, getting loud cheers when he met the 25% threshold required to get his name into the ballot box.
The position of deputy secretary is a three horse race between Bongi Sithole-Moloi, Mluleki Ndobe and Sipho Hlomuka.
The election of new leaders this weekend will bring an end to bitter divisions stemming from the 2015 conference.
The province, which is traditionally a king maker at the ANCs elective conference, went home empty-handed at last year’s Nasrec conference, failing to secure one of the coveted top six positions in the party.
The announcement of the new leaders is expected to be made later today.
The closing address will be delivered by ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa.
It is also expected that former president Jacob Zuma will also make an appearance later today.