The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday elected Sboniso Duma as provincial chairperson in a massive blow to allies of President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Duma, who went up against former chairperson Sihle Zikalala, won by 930 votes, compared to the latter’s 665 votes.
The position of deputy chairperson went to Nomagugu Simelane, who defeated Kwazi Mshengu for the post.
The influential provincial secretary position went to Bheki Mtolo, who won against former secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli.
Despite a late start, the ANC provincial conference in KwaZulu-Natal kicked off on Friday afternoon at the Olive Convention Centre.
The elected deputy secretary was Sipho Hlomuka, while Ntuthuko Mahlaba was elected treasurer.
It was a clean sweep for the so-called “Taliban” faction of the ANC, who have made known their opposition to Ramaphosa’s allies.
After their election, the new leadership team, led by Duma, reiterated that it would not make the mistake of removing outgoing chairperson Zikalala as premier.
Duma said what the province needed was a strong and united leadership that will ensure the ANC wins in the province during the 2024 national elections.
This conference demonstrates the power the RET faction – which is sympathetic towards former president Jacob Zuma – still enjoys in the province.
The so-called “Taliban” supporters sang “wenzen uZuma (What did Zuma do?)” and bemoaned the party’s treatment of the former president.
Their win is seen as a blow for Ramaphosa, who would have relied on the support of the ANC’s largest province ahead of the ANC’s December conference.
It is unclear whether Ramaphosa will deliver the closing address at the conference on Sunday.
The pro-Zuma delegation could further bruise Ramaphosa by booing him as he delivers his closing remarks, denting his campaign for a second term as president.