ANC’s Secretary General Gwede Mantashe said the ANC has no regret whatsoever on its decision to relieve Senzo Mchunu of his duties as KwaZulu-Natal Premier, but added that the party followed proper processes in doing so.
Senzo Mchunu resigned as KwaZulu-Natal premier on Monday following pressure from Zikalala’s allies – particularly the ANC Youth League – to resign because they have been pushing for a clean-out of Senzo Mchunu’s backers to make room for new leaders elected to the ANC’s provincial executive committee.
However, party’s secretary General who was addressing journalists on the eve of the ANC’s national list conference in Johannesburg on Wednesday, said the party followed the right channels in its decision to recall Mchunu as KZN premier.
Mantashe said this in reaction to criticisms by the ANC’s alliance partners – Cosatu and the South African Communist Party – which described Mchunu’s recall as factional.
“The ANC controlled the stages [processes to recall Mchunu]… from the province, to the National Working Committee (NWC) [and] back to the province, and it was finalised. I don’t know what the unhappiness is all about,”
Mchunu was ousted by former Secretary Sihle Zikalala as ANC provincial chairman at the party’s KwaZulu-Natal congress in December 2015. His ousting as chairman resulted in the existence of two centres of power, where the provincial premier was not a member of the party’s leadership in the province.
In reaction to Mchunu’s axing, some of his supporters within the province have threatened to contest the local government elections as independent candidates instead of supporting the governing party. They also claimed that the ANC’s election results were rigged to favour Zikalala, but this was dismissed by the provincial leadership. Those who made the claims have since been charged for bringing the party into disrepute.
ANC’s alliance partners in the province have also rejected Mchunu’s recall, saying there were no consultations before the decision was taken.
ANC’s provincial secretary, Super Zuma supported Mantashe’s assertion over the matter by saying the party will not be affected in the coming election over Mchunu’s ousting.
“From where we are sitting, there would never be a right time to do anything, we followed due process and it was the right time to redeploy comrade Mchunu, as someone who was deployed by the ANC in the first place,” he said .
Mchunu has for long been replaced by former transport, community safety and liaison MEC, Willies Mchunu.