LOYALIST: Zweli Mkhize supports the ANC’s leaders. Picture: Reinhardt Hartzenberg
The African National Congress (ANC) in the province says it is concerned about reports linking its leaders such as premier Zweli Mkhize, former police commissioner Bheki Cele and the MEC for education, Senzo Mchunu, to attempts to “unseat” President Jacob Zuma.
Weekend reports linked Cele to a so-called “Anything But Zuma (ABZ)” campaign which was aimed at toppling Zuma at the upcoming Mangaung conference.
The report stated that Cele, who was recently ousted as SAPS commissioner, was disillusioned with Zuma and was now campaigning against his one-time political ally.
The reports said Cele was trying to lure other leaders such as Mchunu to the ABZ camp.
In the past Mkhize had been linked to secret meetings that planned a future without the current president.
The organisation issued a statement yesterday denouncing these reports as “nothing but desperate attempts by those who were hell-bent on the campaign for leadership change”.
Sihle Zikalala, the ANC’s provincial secretary, said the organisation in KwaZulu-Natal remained united and would only engage in leadership issues next month when the period of nomination began.
Zikalala said: “We want to state emphatically that the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has always been in touch with the comrades who have been mentioned in the media reports and they have all distanced themselves from the reported ‘camp’ and the plot to isolate some of our leaders.
“Comrade Zweli Mkhize, Comrade Senzo Mchunu and Comrade Bheki Cele have categorically specified that they are fully behind the current ANC national leadership.
“The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal therefore views the linking of these comrades to the reported camp as nothing but a frantic attempt by those who want to influence the outcome of the ANC national conference in Mangaung.”
He added that Mkhize, Mchunu and Cele would be part of the discussions which would take place within the KwaZulu-Natal ANC ahead of Mangaung.